Reporting sexual violence to police can be a significant and confronting step to take.

Our specialist investigators are trained to help you through what can be a very difficult time, and will explain the reporting process and the support options available to you.

At all times, you will be given a choice in what happens.

Key points:

  • Reporting sexual violence to police is a significant step, but you will be supported by specialist plain-clothes investigators who will treat you with courtesy, respect and without judgement.
  • You can visit the Arch website or contact the Sexual Assault Support Service (south) or Laurel House (north/north-east/north-west) if you need support and advice before making your report to police.


Sexual violence is serious and can cause lasting trauma.

We understand that you may be experiencing feelings of confusion, anxiety, fear and embarrassment. But it is important to remember that you are not alone.

Our specialist sex crimes investigators are trained in trauma-informed practice and have extensive experience in a range of sexual violence investigations. They will listen and support you without judgement.

When you make a report, we will discuss your options with you. These options may include reporting for information purposes or requesting to have your matter formally investigated by a dedicated and specially trained investigator. We will also provide you with information about the different support services that are available to assist in helping you in your recovery journey.


What you can expect when you report sexual violence

If you make the decision to report sexual violence to police, you can expect the following:



You will be treated with courtesy, compassion, dignity, sensitivity and cultural safety. 

We will provide a non-judgemental environment. We will have regard to the trauma you have experienced and do our best to minimise the risk of further trauma.



Your physical, emotional and cultural safety is our priority.


Information and access to support services

You will be provided with information about the support services available to you. These include local and national support service providers, and Arch – a safe place to go for information and support if you are affected by sexual harm as a result of sexual violence.

With your consent, we will help connect you to the support service/s that you would like to engage with in a way that minimises the need for you to retell your story.


Information about criminal justice

You will be provided with clear and honest information about the criminal justice process, including the collection of evidence, so that you can make an informed choice about your next steps.


The choice to make a statement

You have a choice about whether to make a statement or not.

You may choose to make a statement even if the alleged perpetrator is deceased.


The choice to participate in an investigation

If you choose not to participate in a criminal investigation, we will respect that choice and you will not be pressured to into making a report/statement. You will have the choice to make a statement at a time and place of your choosing. 

You have the right to withdraw a statement that you have made previously. However, where there is a child safety or family violence issue, an investigation may progress without your participation. 


Privacy and confidentiality

Your right to privacy and confidentiality will be taken seriously and your information is subject to Tasmanian and Australian privacy laws.

Where personal or public safety is threatened or severely compromised, information may be shared with partner organisations to manage ongoing risks to the safety of children and other people affected by family violence. 


Information about investigations

You will be kept updated about the progress of the investigation into your complaint, unless you do not wish to be informed. 

You will be advised of any significant developments unless it may have an impact on the investigation.

You have the right to request updates.


Contact with police

If you do not want to contact police directly, you have a right to go through a support person or organisation in the first instance.


Your choice of a support person

You have a right to have a support person of your choice – unless this will have an impact on the police investigation or contaminate evidence. 

Children are able to have a parent, guardian or other advocate present.


Information about charges and prosecution

You are entitled to be told:

  • about any charges made in your investigation
  • why or why not the accused has been charged
  • if there are any police bail conditions that relate to you
  • any changes to the decision to charge
  • when and where court hearings take place
  • the court outcome.

Where prosecution has determined to discontinue charges, you will be informed unless you don’t want to be or attempts to contact you are unsuccessful.


Information about charges and prosecution

You are entitled to be told:

  • about any charges made in your investigation
  • why or why not the accused has been charged
  • if bail has been granted and detail of any conditions that relate to you
  • any changes to the decision to charge
  • when and where court hearings take place; and
  • the court outcome.

Where prosecution has determined to discontinue charges, you will be informed unless you don’t want to be or attempts to contact you are unsuccessful.


Information about release, escape or eligibility for absence from custody

If a person is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment in relation to your investigation, you may enquire about any plans for their release or eligibility for absence from custody.


Make a complaint

You can raise a complaint through any of the primary service provider agencies, the Ombudsman Tasmania, the Tasmanian Integrity Commission and Equal Opportunity Tribunal

You can also make a complaint direct to Tasmania Police.

To submit a complaint in writing, please complete a Statement of Complaint and email it to

If email is not available to you, please post your complaint to:

Deputy Commissioner

Tasmania Police

GPO Box 308



How can I report sexual violence to police?

To report sexual violence to police:

  • in an emergency, call 000
  • call 131 444 to speak with specialist sex crimes investigators
  • contact Arch to speak with specialist sex crimes investigators, counsellors and support workers
  • go to your closest police station.


What if the sexual violence happened a long time ago?

It is never too late to report sexual violence – in fact, deciding to report sexual violence years after it has happened is quite common.

Whether the offence occurred hours, weeks, months, years or decades ago, our specialist detectives will receive your report, provide support and make an assessment.

We encourage you to report sexual offences regardless of when it occurred, even if you think, or know, the suspect is deceased.


Reporting child sexual abuse

Reports of child sexual abuse (either historical or current) that occurred in a religious or institutional setting can also be made to the National Redress Scheme.

The National Redress Scheme acknowledges that many children were sexually abused in Australian institutions. It recognises the suffering endured because of this abuse, and holds institutions accountable for this abuse.

You can apply to the National Redress Scheme by filling in a paper application form, or by applying online through myGov. The Redress Scheme will provide your information to police, with your consent.

For more information, visit:

If you are not ready to speak to police, contact Arch to speak with a counsellor, or one of the other sexual violence support providers available from the Sexual violence support services page.


Mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse

Under Tasmanian legislation, people who work or volunteer in prescribed roles (mandatory reporters) must report any belief or suspicion or knowledge of the abuse or neglect of children and this includes sexual violence against children. 

It is an offence for a mandatory reporter to fail to do so.

Mandatory reports are made to the Department for Education, Children and Young People

If police suspect that a person who is registered to work with vulnerable people has, or may have, engaged in behaviour that poses a risk of harm to vulnerable persons by neglect, abuse or other conduct, the Working with Vulnerable People Registrar will be notified to undertake an assessment of suitability for registration.


Going to court and witness support

Reporting sexual violence to police does not necessarily mean that you have to go to court.

If your matter proceeds to court, we will explain the process to you.

There are several stages in the court process, which vary depending on what court your case is being heard in.

An application can be made on your behalf for special arrangements that are designed to minimise trauma for people giving evidence. These include giving evidence from another room by audio-visual link, using partitions in the courtroom to ensure the accused is not visible to you, and allowing a support person to be present with you when giving evidence.