What can I do if I have been Sexually Assaulted?

If it has just happened then:

  • If you are able to, get to a place where you will be safe.
  • Dial 111 and ask for police.
  • Do not shower or bathe as that may destroy forensic evidence.
  • Try to avoid going to the toilet as that may also destroy forensic evidence.
  • Do not wash or throw away the clothing you were wearing during the assault as you may also destroy forensic evidence.
  • Do not tidy up or move things in the place where the sexual assault occurred.

If it has not just happened:

  • You can still report a rape or sexual assault if it happened to you days, weeks, months or even years ago.
  • Contact the New Zealand Police directly by either phoning or visiting your nearest Police station.

What can I do if I don’t want to report it to Police or I need more support?

There are a number of sexual assault support services that can provide specialist help for victims of sexual assault.

If you feel you need more information and /or support before you speak to Police, then there is an agency near you that can help.

Contacting us for advice

If you just want to find out what your options are and how to get help, please talk to us. You do not have to make a formal complaint.

We can help you with advice and put you in touch with agencies that can offer support and counselling.

What happens when you contact police?

Contacting Police by phone

  • Phone your nearest police station and tell the person who answers the phone that you want to report a sexual assault.
  • They will make an appointment for you to come in to the station or they will arrange for an officer to come to you.
  • If your nearest police station is not open 24 hours and you call outside opening hours, there will be a message telling you which other station near you will be open and what number to call.

 

Contacting Police in person

  • Go to your nearest police station and tell the person on the front counter that you need to speak with a police officer in private to make a report.
  • You don't need to make an appointment and you may be able to speak to an officer straight away.
  • You can ask to speak with either a male or female officer and we will do our best to provide this.
  • A Police officer will take brief notes of what has happened to decide what to do next, and make sure you are safe.

 

Preliminary Interview

  • You will be referred to a trained Police investigator who will complete a short initial interview to assist with planning and prioritising the investigation and ensuring your safety.

 

Support services

 

Medical examination

  • A medical examination may be arranged with a specially trained doctor who will provide medical assistance and carry out a forensic examination.

The examination has two purposes:

  1. To deal with any health concerns such as sexually transmitted infections, or pregnancy.
  2. To assist the police investigation through the collection of medical and forensic evidence if appropriate.

 

Formal interview

  • A formal interview will be conducted. This interview records the details of the sexual assault and will form the basis of your statement for any criminal proceedings.
  • The formal interview will normally be conducted by a specialist interviewer and will be electronically recorded. This allows for the option of applying to have the interview played in court as your evidence.

 

Investigation

  • Police will investigate the complaint in a professional and timely way.
  • Police will speak to people who may have information about the sexual assault and get evidence wherever possible.
  • The investigation may take some time and suspects are usually spoken to after the key enquiries are completed.
  • Police will always try to protect your privacy throughout an investigation.
  • Police will keep you informed throughout the investigation process.
  • Police will advise you whether charges are laid and what the charges are, or the reasons for not laying charges.

If you do choose to make a formal complaint you can find out more about what will happen in the Information for Victims of Sexual Assault booklet .

Who decides if I make a formal complaint?

It is your decision whether you wish to make a formal complaint. The police will provide you with information to help you with this decision.

Will the offender be charged?

The job of the investigating officers is to find out what happened and gather the evidence needed to prove it. Once Police have all the evidence and have spoken to the relevant people a decision will be made on whether to prosecute (charge someone and take your case through the court process). The decision to prosecute will be made on a number of factors including all the evidence available and other considerations. Police will consult with you before a decision is made.