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How to report sexual assault or sexual abuse

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Deciding to report a sexual assault or sexual abuse is very personal and can be a difficult choice. 

It should be based on your needs alone, not the needs of other people. The right decision is whatever feels best for you and no one else should make the decision for you. 

There are many different ways you can report a sexual violence offence to the Police. We understand it can be difficult. You might not be completely sure what happened or how to talk about it. The Police understand this and have Specially Trained Officers (STO’s) who specialise in helping people to report sexual offences.  


You can contact Nottinghamshire Police in a number of ways:

If you have contacted Nottinghamshire Police first via 999 or 101, their call handlers will answer, not a Police officer. Call handlers are highly-trained and skilled members of Police staff. They’re used to speaking to people in a variety of difficult situations. 

They will take details from you and create an incident in order for a uniformed officer to visit you. The uniformed officer will complete the early stages of an investigation before passing the case to a Specially Trained Officers (STO’s).  If you don’t want the Police to come to your home, you can go to a Police station or they can meet you somewhere where you feel more comfortable. 

Can someone be with me when I speak to the Police?

You can have anyone with you, who will make the process more comfortable for you. However, if they are a potential witness they won’t be able to sit with you while you give your statement.

Will the Police ask about my sexual history or preference?

The Police officers may ask some personal questions, such as whether you’ve had consensual sex with the person before. They will only ask questions which are relevant to the investigation. Your sexual history or preferences will have no impact on the way your case is handled or the support offered by the police and other services.

Will the Police officer examine me?

If the sexual assault happened within the last seven days, the Police officer will seek your consent to use an early evidence kit which is a quick and non-invasive procedure. For example a mouth rinse/swab, urine sample

Can I report an offence on behalf of someone else?

Please encourage the person to attend the Topaz Centre. If this is not an option, then please report it to the Police as a third party and try and provide as much information as possible.  The Police will record the incident.  If in the future the survivor wishes to inform the Police themselves, the Police will already have a record of it. If the survivor did attend the Topaz Centre any forensic evidence will have been secured, which will assist in the Police investigation going forward.

Specialist Sexual Violence Support:

In Nottinghamshire there are specialist sexual violence support organisations, who support people who have experienced sexual violence and you may benefit from making contact with one of them. Some people choose not to report an offence to the Police and that is entirely your choice.

If you decide not to report you can still seek advice and support from services for survivors of sexual violence. 

Your Journey - a survivor's guide to support and reporting

The following guide has been produced by the Consent Coalition to support survivors through the reporting process and can be downloaded on the link below.

View the link below

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The Topaz Centre provides crisis support for adults who have been sexually assaulted or raped, including forensic examinations and access to healthcare and follow on support.

Tel: 0800 085 9993 (24 hour) 

Web: www.topazcentre.org

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Nottinghamshire Police is proud to be a member of the Consent Coalition. The Consent Coalition is made up of many organisations, including specialist sexual violence sector organisations, statutory services and universities.  They stand together to say that Nottingham does not tolerate any form of sexual violence and they hope you will too.

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ISVAs provide practical, informational and emotional help for adults who have been raped or sexually assaulted and adult victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.  Help includes advocacy and support through the criminal justice process including reporting to the police.

Tel: 0115 941 0440

Email: referrals@nsvss.cjsm.net (from another secure email address)

Web: https://nottssvss.org.uk/contact/ (secure web based referral form)

Referrals will be responded to within one working day. 

The Survivor Support Service is included within the ISVA service and provides more intensive information and practical support to survivors of non-recent child abuse who were let down by institutions.

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EMCYPSAS provides crisis support, forensic examinations, short term therapy and access to follow on support including children’s ISVA and healthcare. 

Tel: 0800 183 0023 (24 hour)

Web: www.emcypsas.co.uk