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What is the definition of an adult


Definition of Adult

A person aged 17 years or older at the time of reporting a sexual assault.


What is the definition of Sexual Assault


Sexual assault:

Sexual assault includes but is not limited to:

  • sexual violation by rape or unlawful sexual connection
  • indecent assault
  • any form of unwanted or coercive touching
  • actions of a sexual nature or in circumstances of indecency
  • any sexual abuse or exploitation by way of coercion, deceit, power of authority or mistaken belief
  • incest.

What is the definition of Victim



The person whom a sexual assault has been committed against. Can also be referred to as the survivor.


What is considered appropriate Crisis Support for ASA victims


KPP 3 – Appropriate Crisis Support
Appropriate sexual assault support for ASA victims is provided by

  • Specially trained group or agency providing specialist sexual assault support or counselling services
  • Where there are no such groups available locally, trained sexual assault counsellor.

Note: the role is to maximise the psychological and emotional well-being of the victim. To this end, they may also be an independent advocate for the victim.


What is the purpose of a preliminary interview


KKP 4 Purpose of preliminary interviews

A preliminary interview is necessary for investigators to gain a better understanding of what has occurred and to determine:

  • What further investigative actions are necessary
  • Whether an offence may have occurred, and
  • Whether the victim wishes to make a formal complaint.

What information is required to be given to the victim


KPP 5 - Information to be provided to Victim

(1) Give information as soon as possible about the sexual assault support services and provide access to these services.

(2) information about the investigation and expectations about the likely timings of:
• initial actions,
• the medical/forensic examination
• the interview and recording process
• an explanation relating to exhibits, the reason for taking them and likelihood of return
• court processes.

(3) Clarify the victim’s expectations in reporting. do they wish to lay a formal complaint or otherwise

(4) Give them the opportunity to comment on their needs regarding:
• ASA investigator
• specialist adult witness interviewer
• medical/forensic doctor
• support person(s).

(5) Provide investigation updates, record them in the victim contact node
(6) information about the progress and upcoming court dates. They must be advised of an accused’s release on bail.
(7) Discuss with victim if a Prosecution should or would continue if complaint is withdrawn.
(8) Explain and discuss decisions not to proceed with investigation or prosecution and assist the victim to understand the reasons why.


What is the primary objective of medical forensic examinations


KKP 6 Medical forensic examinations Primary objective of examination

Primary objective of a medical forensic examination is the victim’s physical, sexual and mental health and safety. Of secondary importance is the opportunity to collect trace evidence.


What needs to be completed when arranging initial sexual assualt support


Arranging initial sexual Assault support

1) Advise victim ASAP after receiving complaint of
- of their right to support during the investigation
- Police will arrange for a support worker to speak to them
- they can have input about who provides support and when.

2) Contact your local specialist sexual assault support service regardless of the victim’s initial response even if the victim declines support.

Encourage the victim to meet the sexual assault response person alone. This allows the person or agency to provide information about their role and the ongoing support they can provide the victim and their family.

3) If the victim is unwilling to accept specialist support, discuss with the victim the implications of this decision, including:

·specialist support people are experienced and having specialist support does not mean they cant have other support people

·family and others close to the victim may also be traumatised by the event and may need specialist support

·family and others connected to the victim may become potential witnesses and may influence or pressure on the victim

·the presence of intimate partners and parents can create issues around frank and open disclosure

·friends and family may disclose to others.

If the victim remains unwilling to accept Support Person provide brochure with contact details.


What is the procedure for conducting a preliminary interview


Follow these steps when conducting preliminary interviews of ASA victims.

  1. Ensure:
    • the victim is safe
    • all necessary initial contact actions have been undertaken
    • the interview environment is comfortable and private, and evidence neutral.
  2. As soon as it has been established that a sexual assault may have occurred, arrange for a specialist sexual assault support worker. If the victim is very distressed, do not proceed without specialist support unless information is required urgently or a person’s safety is at risk.
  3. Ask the witness ‘TEDS’ type questions to establish:
    • What has happened?
    • When did this take place?
    • Where did it take place?
    • Who is the offender?

Take care not to contaminate the victim’s memory they will be interviewed in more detail later.

  1. Do not conduct a formal interview unless you have been asked to do so by a CIB supervisor or a specialist adult witness interviewer.

What steps need to be taken after the preliminary interview

  1. consider what further investigative procedures are necessary including:
    • public safety
    • secure and preserve evidence
    • securing and containing the crime scene
    • identifying and locating witnesses
    • identification and/or apprehension of the suspect.
  2. Consider whether a recent photograph of the victim is necessary for evidential purposes.
  3. If Police require the victim’s clothing for examination, ensure a suitable change of clothing is arranged.
  4. Regardless how the matter progresses ensure the victim is advised of the specialist ervices
    available to them.

What are the time frames for conducting forensic examinations


Timing of medical forensic examinations

Acute or a suspected drug facilitated sexual assault (1-7 days)
A medical forensic practitioner must be contacted as soon as possible. Ideally within 24 hours, before the evidence is lost and formal interview is completed.

Non-acute (7 days - 6 months)
​Always refer the victim for SAATS medical care. Forensic evidence can still be captured in the early days of non-acute cases.

Historic (more than 6 months)
Refer the victim to SAATS to determine whether they may benefit from a medical examination and/or medical care.

Never assume that because a case is historic there will be no benefit to the victim in undergoing a medical examination, either for their well-being or the investigation


What 8 steps need to be completed before conducting medical forensic examinations


Before conducting medical forensic examinations

Step 1: Explain to the victim that the examination

  • will be conducted by a medical forensic practitioner specially trained in examining sexual assault victims
  • has potential health benefits and can assist Police obtain evidence to apprehend the offender

The expected duration of the examination (2 hours”) and, if appropriate, possible outcomes of the examination.

Step 2:Contact the medical forensic practitioner on call and:

  • advise victim’s age and gender - may impact on the suitability of the practitioner
  • advise when the sexual assault is believed to have occurred
  • give a very brief outline of the information known so far, including: drugs involved victim’s injuries level of intoxication known health concerns
  • discuss the victim’s wishes about gender of the examining practitioner
  • Discuss whether a child’s sexual assault complaint should be investigated using the ASA procedures (or vice versa).

This information will allow the practitioner to assess:

  • the best timing and approach for the examination
  • How to best meet the victim’s wishes regarding the gender of the examining practitioner

Step 3: Arrange a times for the examination and provide access to the examination room.

Step 4 : Ensure victim has opportunity to speak to a specialist sexual assault support worker who has not had any contac with the offender

Step 5: Use toxicology kits for early evidence capture pending the medical/forensic examination.

Remember: If the case is very recent try to avoid loos of trace evidence

Step 6: Arrange a change of clothing for the victim for after their examination.

Step 7: take a MEK & toxicology kit to the examination venue

Step 8: Ensure the officer attending the examination has all information for the practitioner. Notebooks etc.


What 7 steps need to be completed after the medical examination


After the examination:

Step 1: Ensure the medical forensic practitioner has not been in contact with any suspects and that an unexpired (MEK) and toxicology kit

Step 2: provide the practitioner with all relevant information available to Police at that time

Step 3 After conducting the examination, the practitioner:

  • seals and labels all samples with the victim’s name, date and time taken and places in MEK
  • Bags, seals and labels any items of clothing removed during the examination.

Step 4: Before sealing MEK, the attending officer debriefs with the practitioner asking them to:

  • advise on any immediate needs of the victim
  • verbally summarise the exhibits and advise their possible significance in the investigation
  • identify any forensic items required to be analysed by ESR as soon as possible to minimise loss of evidential benefits
  • identify any injuries that to be photographed
  • identify any significant disclosures made by the victim during the examination

All information from the debrief should be captured on the investigation officer’s evidential statement

Step 5: The practitioner seals MEK in the officer’s presence hands sealed MEK, toxicology kit and clothing removed during the examination for preservation of evidence and/or subsequent analysis.

Step 6 : Police secure the sealed kit in an appropriate refrigerator until delivered to ESR. Follow local procedures for the delivery of specimens to the ESR as soon as practicable.

Step 7: Police collect and preserve any clothing worn by the victim during the offence that has not been bagged by the medical forensic practitioner.


What needs to be conved in the debrief from Medical practitioner


Before sealing MEK, the attending officer debriefs with the practitioner asking them to:

  • advise on any immediate needs of the victim
  • verbally summarise the exhibits and advise their possible significance in the investigation
  • identify any forensic items required to be analysed by ESR as soon as possible to minimise loss of evidential benefits
  • identify any injuries that to be photographed
  • identify any significant disclosures made by the victim during the examination.