The NSW Police Force (NSWPF) is to launch a new operation in response to a recent public petition which detailed thousands of stories of sexual violence and misconduct.
Commander of the State Crime Command’s Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad, Detective Superintendent Stacey Maloney said Operation Vest would be coordinated by her Squad which would work closely with commands and districts across the State.
“We must acknowledge the courage it takes victims of sexual violence to come forward and tell their stories,” Det Supt Maloney said.
“Re-telling your story means reliving your trauma, and NSW Police are committed to a framework that supports a victim’s pursuit for justice but also ensures they have access to services that provide the appropriate support,” she said.
“We want you to know that if you share your story with us, we will listen to you and if you decide to pursue legal action, immediately or anytime thereafter, we will stand by your side through that process.”
Det Supt Maloney said NSW Police provided flexible ways for victims to report a sexual assault and would not pursue a criminal investigation, through to the court process, without a victim’s permission by way of a formal statement.
She said that if a victim chose not to proceed to the courts, their report still served to inform Police of a potential offender in the community and enabled investigators to be aware of their potential threat and assisted with future investigations.
“We certainly encourage victims of sexual violence to come forward and report their matters, as their assault may not be isolated,” Det Supt Maloney said.
“Your matter may be connected to other incidents of sexual violence and provide investigators with additional information to prevent perpetrators from reoffending.”
She said victims could also complete a Sexual Assault Reporting Option (SARO), which could be submitted anonymously, if they didn’t wish to formally report the incident.
Further information on SARO can be accessed at this PS News link.
*If you or someone you know is seeking further support you can contact the Victims Access Line on 1800 633 063 or Rape Crisis on 1800 424 017.