Reporting to law enforcement
If you want to report to law enforcement you may do so at any time. However, the sooner you report the crime, the stronger your case will be. It is an individual decision and adults (age 18 or older) are not required to report the crime.
What to expect from law enforcement
The law enforcement officer will create a crime report and assign a tracking number to the crime. Reporting the attack to law enforcement as soon as possible may help a victim/survivor in relaying details that are still readily available. Trauma has the potential to impact a survivor’s capacity to narrate one’s sexual assault. Even if the report takes place days or months later, it’s important to report the most accurate and comprehensive details, such as:
- Sequence of event(s)
- Timeframe / length of event(s)
- Words that were exchanged
- Physical assault / injury
- Weapons used
- Bodily fluids seen or felt
- Unusual details
- Grooming / premeditation behavior by the perpetrator
The police interview may take as long as several hours, depending on the circumstances of the case. Some questions will probably feel intrusive, and the officer will probably go over the details of the attack several times. The extensive questioning isn't because the police don't believe the victim/survivor; it is the officer's job to get every detail down precisely, to make the strongest possible case against the perpetrator.
To read more about working with law enforcement click here:http://rainn.org/get-info/legal-information/communicating-with-law-enforcement