Reporting an assault to the police

In Victoria there is no time limit on reporting sexual assault. This means you can report an assault that happened years ago.

Sexual assault

Generally speaking, sexual assault is any type of unwanted sexual behaviour that makes someone feel uncomfortable, intimidated or afraid.

To report what happened to you, you can contact your nearest Victoria Police Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team. There are also other specialist units within Victoria Police who deal with sexual assault, including the Sexual Offence Criminal Investigation Teams and the Sexual Crimes Squad.

The Victoria Police website has information about these units and a list of their phone numbers.

What if a lot of time has passed?

When a lot of time has passed, it may be harder for police to find enough evidence for a case. It may be difficult to find witnesses and get forensic evidence.

What is forensic evidence?

This is when a doctor collects evidence for the police and writes a report. Things that might be used as forensic evidence include photographs of bruises or wounds. The Doctor may also take swabs using long medical cotton-buds. Taking swabs means wiping areas of your skin or body to collect items for evidence or for testing.

If you want to find out more about this you can talk with the police about your situation, before you make an official report.

What about court and possible compensation?

There are time limits for taking offenders to court (taking civil action) and for applying for compensation through the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal. In some situations it’s possible to apply for compensation outside the time limit.

An offender is the person who assaulted or sexually abused you.

Talking to a Counsellor

You can also talk about your options with a Counsellor:

  • By phone on the Sexual Assault Crisis Line: 1800 806 292
  • Face to face at your nearest Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA). Call the Sexual Assault Crisis Line on 1800 806 292 and ask to be referred to your nearest CASA. Or see the CASA web site for more information.

Who is a Counsellor?

A professional who has been specially trained to support people who have been sexually assaulted or abused. The Counsellor can also speak with medical and legal services on behalf of the person if they want this.

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For more information

For more information about this or to contact the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault go to the SECASA website.