Reporting Sexual Assault

Call 9-1-1

  • If this was a recent assault, get medical care immediately.  Hospital staff can assist you in calling 9-1-1 if you wish.
  • Even if you are not in immediate danger and the assault happened in the past, you can just say “It is not an emergency, but I want to report a sexual assault…”
  • It is best to call and wait for police somewhere that is comfortable for you. The patrol officer(s) will arrive based on the current case demands.
  • Choose a place where you would be able to give an initial statement to the officers. If you go to a police precinct, be aware that you may have to wait for patrol officers to respond there.

What happens after I make an initial report?

  • A supervisor will review the initial report and make a determination if your case will be assigned to a detective for follow-up investigation.    
  • If the case is assigned, your detective will contact you.  
  • If you do not hear from a detective or have any questions about whether your case has been assigned, call the unit's main line at 206-684-5575.
  • The role of the detective is to gather evidence, including statements from victims, witnesses, and the suspect.

What is a Victim Advocate? 

  • If the case is assigned, a victim advocate in the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit will be making contact with you.  
  • The role of the advocate is to provide you with support and resources throughout the investigation and criminal justice process. 
  • In addition to providing you with emotional support, your advocate can accompany you during interviews, keep you informed of the status of the case, and provide you with counseling and community resources.

What should I do if my friend reports sexual assault to me?

  • Listen, but don't press for details.
  • Believe them.
  • If the survivor seeks medical attention or plans to report, offer to be there.
  • Encourage the survivor to get support.