Information for Victims

We know sexual assault can bring deep pain and suffering and that the process of healing and recovery looks different for each individual. Deciding what choices to make in the aftermath of a sexual assault is a complex and deeply personal part of this process.

Making the choice to report to law enforcement is one option that victims have. Law enforcement may ask victims to submit their bodies to forensic evidence collection. We know that undergoing this invasive procedure can be traumatic for victims. But the evidence collected can have a huge impact. It can identify an unknown assailant, confirm the presence of a known suspect, affirm a victim’s account of the attack, and connect the suspect to other crime scenes.

But none of this matters if police fail to properly investigate sex crimes.

We know that as a victim, you may be coming to this site to lean more about the police response to rape because it has affected you personally. Throughout this section, we seek to make information about the criminal justice system available to you, as well as provide resources that may help you advocate for yourself and hold your systems accountable.

Access to this information can also be helpful to any law enforcement professional, policymaker, or advocate working to improve rape victims’ access to criminal justice. We invite you to explore this section as well.

In this section, you can find more information on the following topics:

Click on any of the links to learn more.

People for the Enforcement of Rape Laws is a program of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center to monitor law enforcement responses to sexual violence, develop peer advocacy, and organize for criminal justice reform. We urge you to learn more about America’s hidden rape crisis, where it has been exposed, and why it matters. We invite you to take action and support our efforts to make sure law enforcement takes rape seriously.