Following a sexual assault, you’ll undoubtedly feel physically drained and hurt, as well as emotionally devastated. It’s difficult to know how to react. If you’re considering working towards a criminal conviction then there are certain things you need to do to ensure that you have the strongest case possible.
Justice following a sexual assault means different things to different people. For some it’s a way of gaining back the control they feel that they have lost, for others it’s the wish for the perpetrator to be punished for their actions, and for many more they just want to prevent this from happening to anyone else. Whatever your reason for seeking out justice, it’s important to get in touch with an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in this kind of case – click here for more information about a sexual assault lawyer in Toronto.
Your first step is to report what has happened to the police. Read on for more information.
How do I report this?
There are several options here. You can either call 911, report what has happened instantly, and help will come to you. You can take yourself to your nearest police station where you will be assisted or if you have gone to a medical centre or hospital for assistance with your injuries, then you can inform the medical provider what has happened and that you need to report the crime.
Who will talk to me?
Once the crime has been reported, there will most likely be a specific unit of officers who deal with sexual assault cases that you will initially speak with. These people are trained in how to deal with those who have just gone through the traumatic experience of a sexual assault. Different organisations may also become involved including medical personnel and other survivor orientated services. All these people will be highly trained and extremely compassionate.
I’m worried about my claim.
There are many reasons why people question whether or not they should report a sexual assault. If you’re wondering if you should, then you’re not alone. Here are some of the most common doubts people have.
They won’t believe me: Attitudes towards sexual assault are changing. As is the police response. More and more officers and departments are investing in training and will be on your side. If someone isn’t taking your seriously, ask to speak with someone else.
I know who it was: Sadly, most victims of sexual assault do. Even if you know the perpetrator, sexual assault is still a crime.
The perpetrator didn’t complete his assault: This is still classed as attempted rape. Which is a serious crime that will be taken seriously.
I’m in a relationship or have been with the perpetrator: Just because you gave consent in the past, doesn’t mean they have it indefinitely. Sexual abuse and assault can and does happen within relationships. If you did not consent – they have broken the law. If you have been a victim of sexual assault the first step towards justice is to report what has happened to the police. From there, they will be able to support you through this difficult time.