Reporting Sexual Assault to Law Enforcement
If you are a victim of sexual assault, you have several options as far as reporting to the police.
1. You can choose not to report the incident to the police at all.
2. You can make a report to the police to pursue prosecution of the offender.
You can make an information-only report to the police. That is, you choose to make the report to the police, but do not want to pursue prosecution.
It is important to understand that it is not your decision whether or not the person who assaulted you will be prosecuted. Generally that decision is made by the prosecuting attorney in the county where the assault occurred.
If you are 16 and older, you can file for a Sexual Assault Protection Order (SAPO). This is a civil order issued by the court that requires the offender to stay away from you and the places you request. It also tells the offender to have no contact with you at all. Generally, if the person does not obey the order, they can be arrested. If the perpetrator is a family member or someone with whom you are in a relationship or who lives in your home, you can file for a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO). If you are 15 or younger, a parent or guardian can file on your behalf.
If you need help filling out a protection order, or have questions about your legal rights, please contact one of our advocates.