Reporting An Assault

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Choosing to report an experience of sexualized violence is a difficult, complicated decision to make. Reach out for support, and ask as many questions as you need to in order to make the decision that’s right for you.

Is there a time limit for reporting a sexualized assault?

No, you can still make a report months or even years later. However, the sooner a report is made, the greater the chances that police can collect evidence that will link the accused person to the crime.

Can someone come with me?

You can bring a support person to the RCMP station, but it is unlikely that they will be able to join you while you give your statement.

Why can’t the RCMP come to campus when I give my statement?

RCMP need access to their own audio/visual equipment to record your statement.

How long will it take?

This will depend on your experience, it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours.

What kinds of questions will they ask?

Each situation will require different kinds of questions. You might feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or distressed during the interview process, as they may ask for very intimate information. Community-based and RCMP-based victim service workers can help prepare you for this process, both emotionally and practically.

Suggestion: Bring items that may bring you comfort while being questioned, like a blanket or cozy scarf.

Can I take a break from questioning?

Yes, you can request to take a break from questioning when you need to.

Can I record my own report, with my phone or some other device?

No. When the RCMP take a statement, it is considered evidence. If your statement is recorded on another device, that recording also becomes a piece of evidence, which needs to be held by the RCMP.

Will I get a copy of my report?

Not automatically. You would need to submit an Access to Information request through the Freedom of Information Act, which can be obtained at the RCMP station. More information about this process can be found at: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/atip-aiprp/index-eng.htm#atip

What if I forget something that I wanted to say?

The reporting officer should give you their contact information on a business card. You can follow up afterwards if there’s something you want to add.

Suggestion: Prepare some notes before your statement, so you can refer to them in the moment.

What happens after I report?

Each situation is different, and the RCMP member taking your statement should walk you through the next steps.

Suggestion: Take notes, as it is easy to forget things when you’re experiencing stress.

Will someone be providing updates?

The reporting officer can provide information. You can also call the RCMP detachment and ask for the status of your file. You will need to provide your file number. RCMP-based victim services or Community-Based victim services can also work with you to keep you informed.

Suggestion: The file number should be on the business card that the officer gives you after your initial statement.

Information about RCMP-based Victim Services: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ccaps-spcca/vic-eng.htm

Information about RCMP-based Victim Services: http://www.ksacc.ca/communitybasedvictimservices.htm

Can I request an officer of a specific gender?

Yes, but their ability to meet your request might depend on whether an officer of your preferred gender is working at that time and available to speak with you.

English is not my first language, is there a translator available?

Yes, but it may take them some time to secure the translator.

What if I don’t like how I’m treated by an officer?

At the time, you can ask to speak to their supervisor. After the fact, you have the right to lodge a complaint.

I want to provide information only

If you decide that you do not want to be directly involved in the legal process, the RCMP may still be advised that a crime has occurred. A survivor can provide a statement, written in their own words, but with the explicit wish for it to not be investigated. The police generally respect the wishes of the survivor and not investigate the crime. However, in some cases, such as public safety and current child protection, the police will override the survivors’ wishes and investigate - taken from www.vsac.ca/reporting-to-police

OK, I want to make a report to RCMP, what now?

You can call the non-emergency line at 250-828-3000, or go directly to the RCMP station at 560 Battle Street.

Two terms often arise when speaking about experiences of sexualized violence: “disclosures” and “reports”. Understanding these terms helps make informed decisions about proceeding further.
Disclosure

You want to share your experience, but you don’t necessarily want anyone to act upon it. You can disclose your experience to anyone that you trust. TRU Faculty and staff are required by policy to inform the Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Manager that a disclosure has occurred, but are not required to share any details or identities attached to the disclosure. However, if you disclose your experience to a TRU faculty member or staff, they may have to tell someone else if they think that you or someone else is in imminent danger of being harmed.

Report

Making a report to TRU about an experience of sexualized violence means that you would like the university to act upon your report. You can make a report by contacting the Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Manager (Call TRU Student Services at 250-828-5023 to book an appointment with the SVPRM). They can provide information about the process and support through the process if you desire.

Suggestion: Make an appointment with the SVPRM to find out more about them and their role. You don’t need to disclose your own experience to ask questions.

Once a report is submitted, a review is conducted to determine whether the incident falls within the scope of TRU’s policy, and whether the incident described falls within the policy’s definition of “sexual violence”. Information about the scope of the policy can be found on pages 3-4 in the document, at https://www.tru.ca/sexual-violence/policy-consultation.html. If the incident does not fall within the scope of our policy, you can still receive supports through TRU’s Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Manager (SVPRM).

If the incident does fall within our policy, an investigation will be conducted. Those who choose to report may have concerns about their safety, and TRU may implement specific measures to address those concerns during the investigation process. Once the investigation is complete, a report on the investigations findings will be sent to TRU’s legal counsel, and to the President of the University. The President determines whether and what sanctions could be applied to those accused or perpetrating harm. A detailed explanation of reports and investigation procedures can be found on pages 6-9 of TRU’s policy, which can be found at www.tru.ca/sexualviolence/policy-consultation.html.

Suggestion: Give the policy a thorough read through before making a report, so that you have an opportunity to ask questions and gain as much clarity as possible before moving forward. Consider asking a friend to read it as well so that you can compare notes.

OK, I want to make a report to TRU

If you decide to make a report to TRU about an experience of sexualized violence, you can do so through TRU’s Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Manager (SVPRM). Call TRU Student Services at 250-828-5023 to book an appointment with the SVPRM.

What is third party reporting?

Third party reporting allows victims/survivors to report the crime anonymously through a third party such as a Community Based Victim Services worker at the Kamloops Sexual Assault Counseling Center (KSACC). KSACC also provides free counseling, support, advocacy and accompaniment to individuals who have experienced sexualized violence. The police will still receive a report about the crime, but they won’t know who the victim/survivor is (unless you decide to come forward at a future time). Those reporting must be 19 years of age or older.

Only victim service workers in community-based victim service programs (like KSACC) can file third party reports. Police-based victim service programs do not allow third party reporting. KSACC can assist in explaining the process of Third Party reporting, provide support in filling out all forms, and forward these forms to the RCMP.

Suggestion: Make an appointment with the CBVSW on campus so that you can learn more about them and their role. You don’t need to disclose your experience in order to access information and get a sense of whether their services are right for you.

Why do people choose to report anonymously?

Third Party Reports are valuable for those who are unsure about whether to involve the RCMP. This report is not investigated and will not become part of official police statistics, but it does inform the RCMP about the assault, and provides details that may be relevant to another investigation. If you are available to be contacted in the future, police might have other information about assaults that may have been perpetrated by the same person, or connected in some way. (taken from www.vsac.ca/reporting-to-police).

OK, I want to make a Third Party Report with KSACC

Call them directly at 250-372-0179. TRU’s SVPRM can also assist you in getting connected to KSACC. A Community Based Victim Services worker will be available to provide information about Third Party Reports and support students to complete a report on campus Tuesdays from 1:00-4:00 in Student Services. More information can be found www.ksacc.ca.

Please note that making a third party report with KSACC is not the same as making a third party report with the University—these are separate and unrelated processes. KSACC does not share any information with TRU about students who access their services on or off campus.

General Information
Download the policy

To make a report under this policy, the following must be met:

  • Complainant and respondent are both members of the University Community
  • Complaint pertains to university-related activities
  • Brought to Human Rights Officer within 6 months of last alleged incident of discrimination

To learn more or initiate a complaint, contact Hugh McInnes, TRU’s Human Rights Officer.

Filing a Human Rights complaint with the provincial or federal government is another legal option you may have. Important to keep in mind here is that there is a time limit. The last instance of discrimination or harassment must have happened within 6 months of filing.

The BC Human Rights Clinic can help you understand your legal options and if you can proceed with a Human Rights complaint provincially or federally. This process would be similar to a court proceeding. This video provides more information.

Additional Information

Connect with supports on campus or in our community. They may have additional useful information regarding reporting options, but ultimately, they exist to support you whether you want to report or not.

Consider writing down what you remember about the assault in as much detail as possible. You might require those details if you decide to report in the future.

For more information or questions please get in touch with the Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Manager at scoyle@tru.ca

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