Choosing Whether to Report an Incident

At some point you will need to decide whether you want to report an incident to the police or not. We understand this is not an easy decision for many people. The earlier you tell the Police about an attack, the more likely it is that they will be able to investigate the incident effectively and, potentially, make a prosecution. However, you do not have to tell the Police if you don’t want to.


We would generally encourage people to report an attack, but what you decide to do is up to you. Try to be aware that even if you don’t want to report the incident now, you may want to in a few hours, tomorrow, next week, or in the coming months. There is no time limit on reporting an incident so try not to destroy any evidence that could help if you change your mind.

Take Action:

To report an incident:

  • Call the police on 999. South Yorkshire Police have specialist officers who deal with these incidents.
  • Even though you probably want to, don’t have a wash or brush your teeth.
  • Try not to have a cigarette, or eat or drink anything
  • Don’t change your clothes

If you do not want to report an incident immediately, you can still take steps to preserve some evidence yourself:

  • Keep the clothes you were wearing during the attack and don’t wash them.

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