Making a Police Report
Should I contact the Police?
A worker of the Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC) is always available through the hotline (524-7273) to talk with you about the legal process and to help you decide about filing a police report.
If you wish to report, call 911 and let dispatcher know that you are calling to report a sexual assault.
What will happen with the Police?
The initial report is taken by a patrol officer. The duties of the officer at the time of a reported sexual assault are:
- To catch the assailant if still at the scene of the crime.
- To provide you with or request emergency medical care, if necessary.
- To gather information from you to:
- determine if what happened meets the elements of sexual assault.
- recover forensic evidence.
- secure the crime scene.
- locate the suspect.
- To preserve the crime scene and evidence.
- To prepare the necessary reports for the investigation by a detective who specializes in sexual assault crimes, and
- It is also the patrol officer's responsibility to encourage you to receive and direct you to medical attention and/or the acute forensic examination.
Interview by a Detective
Following the initial report, a detective from the Honolulu Criminal Investigation Division Sex Crimes Detail, will interview you for complete details of the crime.
In asking you about the crime, the detective will guide you to describe what happened before, during, and following the incident. You may want to avoid recalling details of the assault, and some questions may seem intrusive or embarrassing. But these details are an essential part of the investigation and needed for criminal prosecution.
The purpose of the interview is to get an honest and detailed account of the assault to investigate and prosecute the case. Tell the simple truth. Be as accurate as possible with details of the assault; if you can't recall something, just say so. It is okay; do not guess or speculate about what happened.
It is important that you do not leave out information which you believe may weaken your case. For example, you may find it embarrassing to describe the clothing you were wearing. You may fear being judged as "deserving the rape" because of clothing. Keep in mind that how you dress or behave does not give anyone the permission or right to sexually assault you. Or, you may not want to talk about alcohol or drug use for fear that these activities may place you in an bad light or even in trouble. Withholding any information can hurt the investigation and prosecution of your case. At times, the questions asked by the detective may seem insensitive or even judging. The detective asks these questions to try to resolve conflicting information and identify evidence to back up the account given.
Children's Justice Center
A program called the Children's Justice Center coordinates the reported cases of child sexual assault. Interviews of children may be conducted at the Children's Justice Center facility, which is a comfortable, home-like place with age-appropriate rooms.
As children do not always relate events as directly as adults, more than one interview by a detective may be needed before the child feels safe discussing the incident. Often interviews with children are videotaped or observed from behind a two-way mirror. This is done to reduce the need for re-interviews by others involved in the case. Detectives receive specialized training in working with child victims and are aware of the extra care and sensitivity needed to work with the young. A child psychologist may be brought in to assist the detective with an interview of a very young child or one with special needs. A SATC crisis counselor is present at the Children's Justice Center to provide support to the child victims and to the family at the time of the forensic interview.