"I was given options. I was given validation in telling my story. I said this bad thing happened to me and I was believed. For me that's justice."
"If this would have been available for my loved one, so much suffering would not have happened during the report and investigation.
Helping survivors report holds the potential to save so many from this horrible crime and its aftermath."
What happens when I report a sexual assault to a You Have Options Law Enforcement Agency?
The You Have Options Program offers three options for reporting a sexual assault to law enforcement including an Information Only report, a Partial Investigation and a Complete Investigation. Learn more about each option by visiting the EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS page. You may speak with a law enforcement officer prior to making any decision about your reporting choice. You do not have to reveal your name or other identifying information to speak with law enforcement about your options.
No matter what type of reporting option is chosen your access to advocacy and medical care is given priority, even when you do not initially choose to pursue a criminal investigation. Law enforcement agencies that participate in the You Have Options Program encourage reporting of a sexual assault even if the person never intends to pursue criminal charges against the person who assaulted them.
All You Have Options Program Law Enforcement Agencies believe in providing victims of sexual assault with as much control over their report and any subsequent criminal investigation as the law allows.
At You Have Options Law Enforcement Agencies you can:
Report and remain ANONYMOUS.
Report WITHOUT BEING PRESSURED.
Have ALL YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED before giving any personal information.
Report and then CHANGE YOUR MIND.
Report and have evidence collected REGARDLESS OF YOUR DECISION TO PROCEED with an investigation.
Request an ADVOCATE CALL YOU FIRST instead of a police officer.
Report with a support person of YOUR CHOICE by your side.
Report EVEN IF YOUR ASSAULT HAPPENED A LONG TIME AGO
and you believe it may not be able to be prosecuted.
Have another person report FOR YOU.
Request that law enforcement do nothing other than
DOCUMENT WHAT YOU REPORTED.
Report and be interviewed in a trauma-informed manner by
Report to law enforcement who understand
EACH PERSON'S SITUATION IS UNIQUE
and will work with you to address concerns.
Request that witnesses NOT BE INTERVIEWED.
Request that law enforcement
NOT CONTACT THE PERSON who assaulted you.
Report and BE INCLUDED in decisions about the investigation.
Report and BE KEPT INFORMED about the investigation.
For too long those in law enforcement who have the ability to remove sexual offenders from society have rarely received the information necessary to do so. Law enforcement agencies that have joined the You Have Options Program transform the criminal justice response to sexual violence by focusing on increasing the number of victims who report their assault to law enforcement and thoroughly investigating identified sexual offenders for serial perpetration. By addressing the barriers victims face when reporting sexual assault, and thereby increasing the number of sexual assault reports, the You Have Options Program provides investigators with information they would otherwise never have received.
When a victim is given the ability to control certain aspects of a sexual assault investigation – such as who is contacted and if an arrest is made – law enforcement and the person who was assaulted both benefit. Victims provide investigators with more accurate information, are more willing to identify their assailant and participate more fully in the investigative and judicial process. Victims are provided with the time they need to make a decision that is right for them, independent of the needs of the criminal justice system, and are more likely to report a positive experience with law enforcement regardless of the judicial outcome.