Should I report being a victim of child sexual abuse to the police? If I do contact police – what happens next?
Reporting to the police that you have been a victim of child sexual abuse is a huge decision. Many adult survivors carry the burden of their abuse for years before deciding to speak out, and some never do.
Understanding what happens once police are contacted can help a victim of child sexual abuse make a more informed decision and one which is the right decision for them as an individual.
Operation Hydrant, working with Police Scotland, has developed a short animated film aimed at providing supportive information to adult victims and survivors of child abuse who may be thinking of reporting to police and wondering what comes next.
A link to the animation, which is hosted on the The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) YouTube channel, is available here:
Based on two fictional characters, both of whom are survivors of child abuse, the film takes the viewer on an educational journey from understanding what child abuse is, to providing information on the reporting process, the criminal justice process, and the support available.
The film, which runs for just less than eight minutes, will answer the following questions:
- What is child abuse?
- Why should I make a report to the police?
- How can I report my abuse to the police?
- What happens after I make a report to the police?
- Who decides if the case will go to court?
- What happens if I have to go to court?
- What support is available?
The film is designed for adult survivors of childhood abuse, and the information within it is relevant to all types of child abuse including neglect and physical abuse.
Policing recognises that not every victim or survivor of child abuse will feel ready, feel able, or even want to report to the police. However, it is important that all victims and survivors can make an informed decision and know that if they do choose to contact police they will be listened to, believed and taken seriously, and their options and what happens next will be explained to them. This animation supports victims and survivors of childhood abuse in making the right decision for them.
Policing is committed to thoroughly investigating allegations of child abuse, no matter how long ago the offences may have occurred. Investigations are impartial and will seek out any available evidence without fear or favour. The priority for any investigation will always be safeguarding.
How to report to Suffolk Constabulary that you have been a victim of child sexual abuse
In an emergency you should always call 999
Phone – If it is not an emergency please call 101. You will then be put in contact with one of Suffolk Constabulary’s safeguarding houses. A specially trained officer will contact you and discuss your report confidentially.
You can also contact the Survivors in Transition support centre based in Fore Street, Ipswich.
Call - 07765 052282/01473 232499
Email - [email protected]
Website - survivorsintransition.co.uk/
Operation Hydrant is a national policing operation established in 2015, which provides operational coordination across policing in respect of allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse within an institutional setting, or where the allegations are against a person of public prominence.
Operation Hydrant also acts as the interface between policing and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. In addition to this, Operation Hydrant engages with key victim and survivor advocates at all levels to ensure they are informed and updated on the policing approach to investigating allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse.
The Operation also acts as a hub of knowledge and expertise in the field of non-recent child sexual abuse investigations, providing informal advice to forces progressing these complex cases, as well as more formal peer review and peer support functions.