The second option, for victims that decide not to formally report the assault to police, is to complete the SARO questionnaire.

The questionnaire is easy to complete containing a series of questions written to obtain specific information from the victim about the offence. There is a section where the victim can provide a summary in their own words about what happened to them. The more accurate detail recorded on the form the better.

The questionnaire can be neatly handwritten or the information typed into the questionnaire and sent back to the Sex Crimes Squad, State Crime Command by either mail or email. Victims can choose to provide personal details or report anonymously.

It is important to note that with the second option it is not a formal complaint to police to initiate a criminal investigation. The form will be used by NSW Police to gather information on sexual offences and offending. Although, if at any stage a victim wishes to make a formal complaint they can by contacting their nearest Police Station.

Police are mandatory reporters under section 27 of the Children and Young Persons (Care & Protection) Act. If a report is received concerning the sexual assault of a child or young person police will notify Family & Community Services through the Child Protection Helpline.

There is also the option to sign a section of the form to release the Sexual Assault Investigation Kit (SAIK) if a forensic examination, at a NSW Health Sexual Assault Service, was conducted. The analysis of SAIK samples may provide information helping Police to identify the offender.

Police understand that completing this form may be difficult. The victim is being asked to remember, in some detail, what happened. If the services of a counsellor are being utilised, it may be useful to talk with them before filling in the form to enable a few helpful strategies to be prepared. When planning to complete the form it is recommended it is done in a place where the victim feels safe and has some privacy.

It is important that the SARO questionnaire is completed with as much detail and information as can be remembered. All information received, will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and will be entered into a secure and restricted NSW Police Force data base. The completed forms will be kept securely at the office of the NSW Police Sex Crimes Squad.