Reporting & legal process

Sexual assault, including rape, is a crime and those who experience it should know that they have the right to report it to the Gardaí. Nonetheless, the process of reporting crimes of sexual violence can be very difficult and traumatic for victims.

Many people find the process daunting and have very little information as to what happens when they report to the Gardaí or go to court. Below you will find information on the process of reporting and what to expect. For further information and support, you can always contact us or your local RCC.   

You can find out about your options and supports after rape, sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence in Ireland in our online guide: Finding Your Way after Sexual Violence  

The guide is trauma-informed, with a focus on understanding how these processes may make you feel and how to seek support following sexual violence. There is also a section for supporters with information on how best to support someone who has experienced sexual violence. 

Interspersed throughout the guide is diverse range of personal experiences or testimonies which victims and survivors have shared with us. We have also included testimonials from staff and volunteers in the health and justice systems. 

Finding Your Way after Sexual Violence is for anyone in Ireland affected by sexual violence, including victims and survivors, their supporters and others engaged in these systems. 


You do not need to decide immediately whether to report the assault. To give yourself the option of doing so at a later stage, but to ensure you capture forensic evidence that may be very important for your case, you may decide to attend one of six Sexual Assault Treatment Units (SATUs) across the country - find the SATU nearest you. 

You might want to report to Gardaí. To do this you can call your nearest Garda station and arrange an appointment.  

Support is always available to you for free and in confidence on the National 24 Hour Helpline 1800 77 8888