Trigger warning: Sexual violence
People in NSW can now report sexual violence cases online and in 12 different languages, under a revamped system unveiled today.
This is an alternative to making a formal complaint – meaning reports lodged through this process won’t automatically initiate a police investigation.
It’s seen as a way to address the under-reporting of sexual violence cases. The old process received 70 reports monthly (on average) in 2022 – six more than the year prior.
This new option will replace an old process which required a 14-page document to be filled out to report a case of sexual violence.
It will now allow victim-survivors to upload screenshots from dating apps or social media, to assist police with identifying offenders.
Police can use the information to assist with other investigations and inform future strategies.
The process still allows anonymity and for victim-survivors to request their case be followed up by police if they want.
Why the change?
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb noted that legal proceedings are “not always the desired outcome or the only measure of success” for victim-survivors.
“We know that sexual violence continues to be under-reported, and we hope that by providing victims with alternative reporting options we will be better placed to understand sexual violence in the community, assist victims, and hold offenders accountable.”