When you phone 999 or 101 to report a rape or sexual assault, the first person you speak to will be a call taker. They'll make sure you're safe and ask if you're injured, or if you need immediate medical attention.
The call taker will then ask for details for the person who was assaulted, and sometimes the person reporting if that's someone else. The details requested will include:
- date of birth
- home address
- contact details (phone number)
- current location
After getting these details, the call taker will ask some questions to establish what has happened to you, the date and time it happened, and where it happened.
They will also ask who assaulted you, if you know them, and for a physical description. For example, they might ask about the person's height, age, and hair colour, among other things.
Depending on when the assault occurred, the call handler may advise you to take specific actions (for example, not washing or changing your clothes).
You may also be asked at this point if you had an examination at a sexual assault response co-ordination service (SARCS). If you did, they will ask you to sign a document to allow them to retrieve the evidence as part of their investigation.
If you'd prefer the police come to speak to you at a later time, for example the following day, you can ask for this.
After the call, the information you provided will be recorded and police officers in your area will be sent to speak to you in more detail about what happened.