Department of Justice

Sexual Assault

Dealing with Different Crimes

Victim Services

Reporting to the Police

Sexual assault is a crime and the person who did this to you deserves to be held responsible. However, it is your choice whether or not you report it to the police.

Victim Services can help you understand what to expect if you report to the police and support you through the process.

You don’t have to report the crime to access our counselling and support, and we won’t report the crime for you. We won’t give the police information without your consent.

When to report

You can report the crime right away or you can wait and report it later. However, there will be a greater chance of a conviction if you report early on.

You can still report a sexual assault even if it happened some time ago, even if you can’t remember all the details or don't know where the accused is living.

Collecting evidence

If someone has had intercourse with your or forced you into sex, you should consider going to the hospital or health centre and having a sexual assault evidence kit done as soon as possible.

This kit collects important evidence and it can be done before you’ve even decided to report the crime to the police. The police will not be informed about the kit unless you report it.

The kit can be kept up for up to six months in case you decide to report the crime later  (this is called a “Kit on Ice”).

What to expect if you talk to the RCMP

The police will want to interview you to collect information that will help in their investigation. You can have a friend or support person with you when you make a report.

The police must follow procedures to make sure they get evidence that can be used in court if charges are laid.

They will ask if you will give a video, audio or written statement that lets you say what happened in your own words. You can review the statement later and add to it.

They will ask you questions to find out what happened when and what order. They will ask if there were any witnesses.

They will also ask if you agree to provide evidence such as clothing, photographs, medical reports or the results of the sexual assault evidence kit if you had one done.

The police can give you information about other community supports, including Victim Services.

Remember that the police are trying to help understand your story. Only you can tell them what happened.

If accused is charged

The person who assaulted you will be charged when the police feel they have enough evidence. Depending on the circumstances, some people will be held in jail and others will be released on conditions. See Bail Hearings for more information.

If you are worried that the accused may try to hurt you again, you should tell the police or the Crown Prosecutor’s office. A no contact order can be put in place that says the accused can’t contact you or go to your home or your work.

It is a crime if they break the conditions of their release, so be sure to report it if they do!

If no charge is laid

If the police believe there is not enough evidence to charge the person, they will let you know.

If you disagree with this decision, you can ask that the decision to be reviewed. First  a supervisor will review it. If that doesn’t change things, then the Crown Prosecutor’s Office can be asked to review the decision.

If there is a lack of information, it may be difficult for the police to find your attacker. However, they keep reports of all crimes so it is possible your attacker will be found at a later date.

Remember that at any time you can contact Victim Services. We can help you understand the process and your options.

After charges are laid

If charges are laid, the case will go to court. To learn more about your role in the process, and what to expect, you can talk to a Victim Services worker or read more on our Understanding the Court Process page.

If the offender is under 18, different processes and penalties will apply. Please visit Steps in the Court Process for more information.