Contacting the Police
There is no time limit for reporting sexual assault. Sexual assault is defined as ‘sexual contact without consent’.
It is the victim’s decision whether or not to report the sexual assault to police unless the crime has been committed against a child, in which case there is a duty to report.
If you know that a child has been sexually abused or is in danger of sexual abuse, you have a legal obligation to report this information to the authorities:
- Chatham-Kent Police Service: 519-436-6600 or call 911
- Chatham-Kent Children’s Services: 519-352-0440
Women report as few as 6% of sexual assaults to police. Many reasons have been identified for this failure to report including, but not limited to:
- Fear of reprisal
- Fear of not being believed
- Fear of being judged
- Fear of revictimization
- Fear of lack of evidence
- Fear of the legal process
- Lack of confidence in the justice system
- Feeling embarrassed or ashamed
- Feeling vulnerable
- Feeling powerless
If you have been sexually assaulted and don’t know whether or not you want to report to police, other community supports are available to you:
- Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre can collect and record evidence that can be frozen for 6 months to give you time to decide if you want police involvement. 519-352-6400 Ext. 6382
- Chatham-Kent Sexual Assault Crisis Centre will not encourage or discourage you from reporting to police. We will provide support to you regardless of your decision and, if you choose to report, we will accompany you to the police service if you wish.
If the decision is made to report the sexual assault to police, you will be asked to make a statement in writing and/or a video recording of your description of what happened. Police will investigate the allegation. Charges may or may not be laid, depending on the outcome of the police investigation. If a charge is not laid, that doesn’t mean the sexual assault didn’t happen.
Sexual contact without consent is AGAINST THE LAW.