Reporting a Rape or Sexual Assault

Call 410-268-4141 to report a rape or sexual assault. Call 911 for an emergency.

Over the years there has been a great deal of negative publicity devoted to the treatment of sexual assault victims by the criminal justice system. In the past, victims often felt that they, rather than the rapist, were on trial. Victims' prior sexual conduct became a routine part of court testimony, thereby raising questions regarding the victims' morality and, therefore, the validity of the sexual assault charge. Fortunately, the last few years have brought about a sensitization of the criminal justice system to the plight of the sexual assault victim. Law enforcement agencies have realigned their approach to the investigation of rape cases by using specially trained sexual assault investigators who are sensitive to the needs and concerns of a sexual assault victim.

After Reporting the Crime

When you first report a rape, a uniformed officer will respond to your location. His or her first responsibility is to secure your safety and well-being.

The officer will take a brief statement from you and will then transport you to the hospital for a rape or sexual assault examination. You may have a friend, relative, or Rape Crisis counselor with you throughout this process. In order to preserve valuable evidence, it is imperative that you neither bathe, douche, nor change clothes prior to reporting the rape. In addition, it is advisable to leave the crime scene undisturbed. Bedding, items touched by the suspect, cigarette butts, etc. can yield vital information regarding the identity of your assailant.

Criminal Investigation

An investigator from the Criminal Investigation Section will respond to obtain a more detailed statement from you.

Trial

Should an arrest be made, and should the case go to trial, you will undoubtedly be asked to testify. Keep in mind that rape trials are no longer the horror stories once depicted. A counselor and Victim Advocates can help alleviate your concerns by letting you know what to expect and by accompanying you throughout the court process.