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REPORT CRIME ONLINEEMERGENCY CALL 999
REPORT CRIME ONLINEEMERGENCY CALL 999

Rape and sexual assault

Sex without consent is rape and is always a crime, no matter who it’s committed by.

All rape and sexual assault is serious. The terms rape and 'sexual assault' are used simply to differentiate between two types of offence.

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So what's the difference?

The legal definition of rape is when a person intentionally penetrates another's vagina, anus or mouth with a penis, without the other person's consent. Assault by penetration is when a person penetrates another person's vagina or anus with any part of the body other than a penis, or by using an object, without the person's consent.

The overall definition of sexual or indecent assault is an act of physical, psychological and emotional violation in the form of a sexual act, inflicted on someone without their consent. It can involve forcing or manipulating someone to witness or participate in any sexual acts.

Not all cases of sexual assault involve violence, cause physical injury or leave visible marks. Sexual assault can cause severe distress, emotional harm and injuries which can't be seen – all of which can take a long time to recover from. This is why we use the term 'assault', and treat reports just as seriously as those of violent, physical attacks.

If you have been a victim of rape or sexual assault, the key thing to understand is that it’s not your fault and there is no excuse for committing these types of offences.

Should you wish to contact us about a sexually related offence, your report will be taken seriously and a member of our dedicated team will guide you through this difficult time.

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Report it here. 

To report a rape or sexual assault please call 999 as soon as possible after the crime or if it is in an emergency.

We understand that reporting a rape or serious sexual assault can be an extremely difficult decision but we urge you not to suffer in silence. Speaking to someone about what’s happened, whether it’s to one of our officers, a support agency or a friend or family member, doing so is a big step in getting you the support you need.

If you do not wish to involve the police then you can still receive help and support from independent sources.

All victims of sexual offences will receive lifetime anonymity, meaning your name will not be published anywhere in the public domain.

 

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