Victims of sexual assault in NSW can now report their experiences online

Victims of sexual assault in NSW can now record their experiences and provide information to police through an online reporting system unveiled on Friday.

The sexual assault reporting option, also known as SARO, allows victims to report a sexual assault without having to participate in further investigations.

Although the option has existed since 2012, the new online system was unveiled in 12 languages ​​on Friday to make it more accessible to victims.

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the online system helps victims control their contact with the police while allowing them the opportunity to provide information.

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the online system helps victims control their contact with the police while allowing them the opportunity to provide information. Credit:Kate Geraghty

The new system, accessed via a community portal on the NSW Police website, replaces the old process of printing and filling out a 14-page document and emailing it to the State Crime Command’s Sex Crimes Unit .

Importantly, reporting SARO does not in itself initiate a police investigation, and police still encourage victims to make a formal complaint. Through the SARO system, victims can report anonymously without further contact with the police, or they can choose to be identified and, in certain circumstances, request that the police follow up, said Karen Webb, NSW Police Commissioner.

NSW Police Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Paul Toole said the system “enables victims of sexual assault to take the first step and record their sexual assault, whether or not they wish the matter to be investigated at a later date”.

Webb said the system helps victims and survivors of sexual violence take control of how much contact they have with police and what happens next.

“For many victim survivors, a police investigation and trial are the furthest away, and they often feel further traumatized by the process,” she said.

“We understand and recognize that successful law enforcement is not always the desired outcome or the only measure of success.”

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/victims-of-sexual-assault-in-nsw-can-now-report-their-experience-online-20230113-p5cc9t.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national Victims of sexual assault in NSW can now report their experiences online

Callan Tansill

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