If You Decide to Report the Incident to Police
- Contact the police in the municipality where the incident took place as they have jurisdiction to investigate. If you are unsure of the location, contact the police where you think the crime occurred.
- If the incident occurred on university property, contact the Rutgers University Police Department. If you are unsure, contact the Rutgers University Police Department and they will assist you. The Rutgers University–New Brunswick Police Department non-emergency number is 732-932-7211.
- Although a patrol officer is generally the first to respond, a trained detective will do the investigation. Police, in order to investigate the crime, will interview the survivor, collect evidence from the crime scene, receive the evidence obtained at the hospital, take a formal statement and protect the survivor’s anonymity.
- The survivor is entitled to request the presence of a confidential advocate during the interview. The survivor has the right to have a confidential advocate present during all medical and law enforcement procedures. If you would like to speak with an advocate or have an advocate present, contact the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance.
- The interview will usually focus on the events prior to the initial contact with the assailant, a detailed account of the behavior and words used by the survivor and the assailant, a detailed account of the incident and a description of the assailant.
There are many steps that occur from the time a survivor reports to the final outcome of a prosecution. If the criminal charge is pursued further, the police and/or an advocate can talk with you about next steps.
- Sexual assault is a crime that is prosecuted by the state. The survivor is assigned an attorney from the Prosecutor’s office in the county where the incident took place. This person is usually part of a special sex crimes unit.
- Once the police finish their investigation, all evidence is turned over to the Prosecutor’s Office, where it is reviewed. The Sex Crimes Unit of the Prosecutor’s Office will then make decisions regarding the case.
- The survivor becomes a witness if the case moves forward.
- The law also limits the admissible evidence concerning the survivor’s prior sexual activity.
- There are several levels of the prosecution process including issuance of a warrant, arrest, arraignment, grand jury and the trial. Some steps require the survivor’s presence in court. If you have concerns or questions regarding this process, contact the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance.