After experiencing the trauma of sexual assault, taking the step to report it to the police may initially feel overwhelming. However, it is an important and necessary action to seek justice for the pain you have endured. When you make the brave decision to report your assault, the police will initiate an investigation into your case.
At Arias Sanguinetti | Trial Lawyers, our dedicated sexual abuse lawyers in Los Angeles understand the challenges survivors face and are here to support you throughout the reporting process. Read on to learn more about what happens when you report your assault to the police.
What Is the Reporting Process for Sexual Assault?
Empowering survivors to take control of their journey to justice and understanding the reporting process for sexual assault is essential. By shedding light on the steps involved, you can go through the process with confidence and reclaim your power. Here are the steps in the reporting process:
Contacting the Police
The first step in the reporting process is to contact the police by calling the emergency hotline or visiting a local police station. It is important to report the sexual assault as soon as possible, though it is completely understandable if you need time to process the incident before making the report.
When you reach out to the police, an officer will be assigned to speak with you and gather information about the assault.
Providing Information and Seeking Medical Attention
Police will ask you to provide details such as the time, location, and any descriptions of the perpetrator. It is important to be as accurate and thorough as possible, sharing any relevant information that can assist in the investigation.
During the reporting process, you will be asked to provide comprehensive information about the sexual assault. The officer will listen to your account of the incident and ask specific questions to gather important details.
In addition to providing information, seeking medical attention is highly recommended after a sexual assault. Even if you are unsure about involving the police, a medical examination is essential for your well-being.
We’ve Recovered Over
One Billion Dollars For Our Clients
What Happens During the Police’s Investigation of Sexual Assault?
During the investigation of a sexual assault, the police often collaborate with various agencies to gather additional information and provide support services. One important collaboration is with forensic laboratories, where evidence collected from the crime scene or forensic examinations is analyzed.
These laboratories employ trained professionals who use specialized techniques to examine and process the evidence. Their experience can contribute information to the investigation, aiding in the identification of the perpetrator or supporting your account.
Throughout the investigation, the police have the responsibility to keep you informed about the progress of the case. They should provide regular updates regarding any significant developments, changes, or milestones in the investigation.
Maintaining open communication with the assigned investigator and establishing a channel for receiving updates helps everyone involved. By actively seeking updates when needed, you can stay informed about the investigation’s status, understand the steps being taken, and have a clearer understanding of how the case is progressing.
What Legal Actions Should You Take After Sexual Assault?
After you’ve reported the assault, your next step should be seeking legal help from a compassionate and experienced sexual assault attorney at Arias Sanguinetti | Trial Lawyers. Our team can help you file a civil lawsuit and take other protective measures for your safety.
Filing a sexual assault claim can help you get justice and compensation for the losses you’ve suffered as a result. The time you have to file depends on your age at the time of the assault. If you were 18 or younger, the California Child Victims Act gives you until the age of 40 to file a claim or within five years of discovering the assault affected you.
However, if you were older than 18 when you experienced the assault, according to California’s Code of Civil Procedure § 340.16, you have 10 years from the assault date or within three years of discovering the effects of the events.
How You Can Get Support As a Survivor of Sexual Assault
Experiencing sexual assault can be incredibly traumatic, but it’s important to know that you don’t have to face it alone. There are numerous sexual assault organizations and support services available to provide assistance, guidance, and emotional support to survivors. Here are some ways you can seek support:
Local Sexual Assault Organizations
Reaching out to local sexual assault organizations can be a valuable resource for survivors. These organizations specialize in supporting survivors of sexual assault and can provide a range of services, including crisis hotlines, counseling, support groups, and legal advocacy. They have trained professionals who understand the unique challenges faced by survivors and can offer guidance tailored to your specific needs.
National helplines offer confidential and anonymous support to survivors of sexual assault. These helplines are staffed by trained professionals who can provide emotional support, guidance, and information about available resources. They can also help you understand your rights in the reporting process and connect you with local support services.
Counseling and Therapy
Seeking counseling or therapy can be instrumental in the healing process of sexual assault. Mental health professionals, such as psychologists or licensed therapists, can provide a safe space for you to explore your emotions, cope with the trauma, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. They can help you work through the impact of the assault and provide strategies for self-care and resilience.
Participating in support groups can be beneficial for survivors as it provides an opportunity to connect with others who have had similar experiences. Support groups offer a safe and non-judgmental environment where survivors can share their stories, gain validation, and receive support from individuals who understand the challenges they face. These groups can be facilitated by professionals or organized by local sexual assault organizations.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Learn More About Reporting Sexual Assault to the Police
At Arias Sanguinetti | Trial Lawyers, we are passionate about educating and helping you throughout the reporting process. We want you to have all the information you need to be successful in your sexual assault case.