With most crimes, reporting the incident to police may seem like a natural step in resolving the issue. However, many sexual assault victims don't make an official report. Sexual assault is one of the most under-reported crimes—as little as 10% of sexual assaults are reported.
- The victim may feel that she/he is to blame for what happened.
- The victim may feel embarrassed about what happened.
- The victim may believe that the justice system is uncooperative, inefficient, or victim-blaming.
- The victim may not want the perpetrator to get in trouble.
- The victim may not want her/his family to find out.
- The victim may not recognize that she/he was raped.
- The victim may have been threatened by the perpetrator.
- The victim may fear retaliation by the perpetrator if she/he was to report.
- The victim may fear that she/he will not be believed.
- The victim may have already had a bad experience with the police.
- The victim may know someone who reported and had a bad experience with the police.
- The victim's friends and/or family may not support reporting.
- The victim's friends and/or family are telling the victim it was not rape.
- There may be cultural considerations that lead the victim to avoid the police at all costs.
At Center4SAVA, we can help all victims of sexual assault, regardless of their decision to report. If the victim chooses not to report, she/he will still be welcome to meet with one of our therapists, attend a support group, and access any of our additional resources.
If the victim chooses to report, our advocates can sit with the victim as she/he reports to police, help navigate the process after reporting and explain the paperwork, and accompany the victim throughout the court proceedings.