Victims of Sexual Assault
The following information is provided by the Eisenhower Medical Center Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Program and has been adapted from the End Violence Against Women International Toolkit at www.evawintl.org.
Victims of sexual assault often have many difficult decisions to make following rape. Among the many concerns of victims are whether or not to report the assault to law enforcement. The goal of this brochure is to provide information to help you decide which reporting option is right for you.
There are many advantages to reporting a sexual assault as soon as possible. Reporting allows law enforcement to document and collect any perishable evidence that will not be available later. By providing your name and other information and participating in the Standard Reporting process, law enforcement may begin an investigation. This may include talking with other people who have information about your sexual assault - including the person who sexually assaulted you.
Direct Anonymous Reporting
If you are unsure whether to immediately participate in the Standard Reporting process, you may talk with a law enforcement officer anonymously. This gives you the opportunity to meet the officer, ask questions and learn more about the process of an investigation. When you speak with an officer, you may provide as much information as is comfortable about yourself, your sexual assault and your assailant. In other words, to remain anonymous you may withhold any or all of the following:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your contact information
- Your date of birth
- Information about your assailant
The officer will record any information provided by you in a written report and give to you a case/incident tracking number for future reference. Should you choose at any time in the future to proceed with Standard Reporting, you may provide your name along with the tracking number to the agency to begin a standard investigation into your assault. Timelines for evidence collection are currently 120 hours, late reporting can significantly decrease your chances of a successful investigation.
If you decide not to speak with an officer at this time, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) can provide you with a forensic evidentiary examination. The examination will allow collection of any perishable evidence that will not be available later. The Non-Investigated Reporting examination allows you time to decide if you want to move forward with Standard Reporting at a later date. As with Direct Anonymous Reporting, you will be provided a case/incident tracking number. If you decide at a later time you wish to speak with an officer, you may either contact the law enforcement agency directly, or you may contact the Eisenhower Medical Center Sexual Assault Program Team at 760-837-8937.
Anonymous or Non-Investigated Reporting
With either type of reporting, Direct Anonymous or Non-Investigated, you may choose at any time to provide your name and tracking number to participate in a law enforcement investigation:
- before the examination,
- after the examination, or
- any time you are ready to do so.