Reporting a rape or sexual assault


If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, we would encourage you to report it to us. We take all reports of rape and sexual assault seriously, no matter when they happened or who you are. We also investigate reports of rape or sexual assault that might have happened a long time ago.

These are very serious crimes and we have specially-trained police officers to help and advise you. If you report it to us, you can help us catch the perpetrator and maybe stop it happening to someone else.

There are a number of ways to report a rape or sexual assault:

What to expect from us:

We understand this is a very traumatic experience. We know talking about what has happened might be distressing and embarrassing. We will endeavour to treat you with respect and sensitivity throughout the process. Your answers will help us build a picture of what has happened to you and how best to investigate. If at any time you do not understand what we are saying, please ask us to explain it in a different way.

When you report a rape or sexual assault to us, we will:

  • Arrange for an officer to come and talk to you
  • Ask you if you wish to speak to a male or female sexual offences liaison officer (SOLO)
  • Explain to you exactly what happens when a rape or sexual offence is reported to the police
  • Keep you updated about the investigation

Please see our section on victims which explains more fully what you can expect from us.

We will ask you:

  • Your name and address
  • Where and when you were assaulted
  • What happened to you
  • Any details of your attacker

What happens next?

Medical examination: We may ask you for your permission to be examined by a doctor. The doctor will be specially trained for this kind of examination and will treat you with care and sympathy. They will examine you to see if you have any injuries that need treating and to gather any forensic evidence. The examination will take place in a special examination suite away from the police station. There will be a comfortable room to rest in, a medical examination room and a bathroom where you can shower after the examination.

Your clothing: we will need the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. You will need to tell us where it is. We can collect it for you.

Will I have to go to court?

That’s up to you. If you choose to go to court, please visit our section on witnesses, which contains information about going to court. If you choose not to go to court we will continue to support you. 

#BreaktheSilence around male rape

Ministry of justice

Video published on 13 Feb 2014
Evidence suggests that 12% of all rape victims are men. Yet we know it is common for men not to come forward or to take years to report being a victim because they fear not being believed, feel alone and worry people will blame them for what's happened.

We can't help if we don't know. Please report it.


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