Report any sexual related offenses. The alleged sexual offense may be reported by: the victim of the offence; a family member, friend or colleague of the victim or a person who witnesses or received information about the commission of the offence.
Sexual offences may be reported at a police station or be reported by phone. No victim may be turned away simply because the alleged offence took place a long time ago or was allegedly committed in the station area of another police station.
Here are a few guidelines on what to expect when reporting a sexual offence to the South African Police Service:
- The victim is permitted to have a person of his or her choice present to support and reassure him or her during the interview.
- The interview will be conducted in surroundings that are either familiar to the victim or reassuring to the victim.
- Once sufficient information has been obtained from the victim, a docket must be opened, registered on the CAS and an affidavit must be made in which the following must be clearly specified:
- The time and date on which the offence was allegedly committed
- The place where the offence was allegedly committed
- The nature of the alleged offence
- The manner in which it was allegedly committed
- The first person to whom the victim has reported the alleged sexual offence before he or she reported it to the police
- Any details regarding the alleged offender(s) that may assist in identifying and finding them
- Any details regarding possible witnesses that may assist in identifying and locating them.
- The officer should determine whether the victim requires medical assistance and if so, make arrangements for the victim to obtain medical assistance as soon as possible.
- The purpose of the medical examination of the victim is to establish whether there is any evidence relating to the alleged sexual offence.
- The victim must be taken for the medical examination as soon as possible - even if the sexual offence was only reported more than 72 hours after it had been committed, and even if the victim had already washed.
- Remember – If you have been a victim of a sexual offence, it is vital that evidence must be collected before washing away any body fluids of the perpetrator.
- The medical examination will be conducted at state expense and by a medical professional.
- A male member may not be present during the medical examination of a female victim, and vice versa. Even a member of the same gender may only be present during the medical examination if the victim agrees to it.