During Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2024, Dorset Police is sending the positive message to all survivors of sexual offences that when they report it to the police they will be treated with respect and supported.

Superintendent Emma Sweetzer of Dorset Police said: “Anyone who reports rape, sexual assault or other sexual offence to Dorset Police can be confident that they will be taken seriously and treated sensitively by our officers. Our focus will be on the crime that has taken place, on investigating it, protecting and supporting them while we do so, and on  bringing the perpetrator to justice.

“Sexual offence investigations require the bravery of survivors to see them through, but the tenacity and professionalism of our investigators and support from our staff and partner organisations will get them through the criminal justice process.”

Dorset Police is currently implementing the new Rape and Serious Sexual Offences National Operating Model for investigation which was the result of extensive research during Operation Soteria, in which the force took part.

That research continues with an independent anonymous survey of survivor-victims of rape and other sexual offences. The survey asks anyone who is aged 18 or over, and who has reported a sexual offence to the police, to give their honest feedback on how police handled their case, regardless of the outcome. The survey can be accessed here, and there is an easy read version at the same link: https://tinyurl.com/1experiencesurvey

Superintendent Sweetzer concluded: “Survivors of rape and other sexual offences will be treated with dignity and respect, listened to and believed by Dorset Police.

“Dorset Police will pursue perpetrators of sexual offences relentlessly and we have already started to see a shortening of the investigation process and more offenders going to court.  We are committed to continuing to improve the service we offer to all survivors of rape and sexual offences, to bring more offenders to trial and cut the time victims have to wait for justice.”

If you or anyone else is in danger call 999Non-emergency reports and support www.dorset.police.uk