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REPORT CRIME ONLINEEMERGENCY CALL 999
REPORT CRIME ONLINEEMERGENCY CALL 999

Rape and serious sexual assault

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

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 offences, your report will be taken seriously and a member of our dedicated team will guide you through this difficult time.

Report rape or sexual assault

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.

Rape Crisis.org (opens in new window) has a wealth of information on their website, which aims to support those who have been affected serious sexual assault or rape, including promoting the understanding and raising awareness of sexual violence in local, regional and national communities.

How we deal with rape or sexual assault reports

After you have reported a sexually related offence to us, we will take the appropriate actions, depending on the type of offence and of course, considering how you wish to take this report forward.

The sooner you tell us about what’s happened, the better. The more evidence we can gather by seizing all forensic opportunities and the easier it will be to build a case against the offender.

Our trained detectives will work to make sure they cover all sources to build the best case possible.

Investigating a rape or sexual assault

If the incident has just happened;

If the assault happened some time ago or you don't want to go to The Elms;

  • we will make an appointment to visit you at a time that suits you. An investigation will be opened which will involve arresting and interviewing the suspect and gaining any evidence we can. Evidence will then be reviewed and may be presented to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) (opens in new window)to make a decision on whether the suspected offender can be charged with the offence.

If the suspected offender is charged by the CPS;

  • it will lead to a court case. The suspect may be kept in custody, released on bail until court or summonsed to attend court on a specific date. Your specially trained officer and Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) will support you through the criminal justice system. At court, we can arrange certain things for you to feel comfortable in giving evidence, such as via video link for example.

Without consent, it is rape

There are many misconceptions about what counts as consent, but our message is simple; only yes means yes.

Consent is freely and actively given and is mutually understandable words or actions between partners, which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

Our advice is to remember that the absence of a ’no’ is not a ‘yes’, and silence or uncertainty is not consent. Someone cannot give their consent to engage in sexual activity if they are;

  • incapacitated by drugs or alcohol
  • asleep or in a vulnerable position
  • under pressure
  • being psychologically or emotionally manipulated
  • being threatened, assaulted or blackmailed
  • feeling intimidated.

Sexual consent

Even if you have had sex with someone before, it doesn’t mean you have consent to do it again. It must be given each time you initiate sexual activity.

Consent can be withdrawn at any time during the sexual encounter and should be given at each step of the intimacy. Just because someone consents to one activity, it doesn’t mean they are willing to go further.

Offenders often try to blame the victim for their actions. If you have been a victim of an assault, remember that this abuse is never ok and is never your fault, no matter the circumstances.

  • If they change their mind, you don’t have consent
  • just because you’re married, it doesn’t mean you have consent
  • the way they dress doesn’t mean you have consent
  • if they are unconscious you don’t have consent
  • just because they’ve let you before, it doesn’t mean you have consent.

 

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