New Zealand legislation defines rape in the following way:
Person A rapes person B if person A has sexual connection with person B, effected by the penetration of person B’s genitalia by person A’s penis: (a) without person B’s consent to the connection; and (b) without believing on reasonable grounds that person B consents to the connection.
Sexual abuse occurs whenever anyone is forced, pressured or persuaded to engage in sexual activity. When this sexual activity happens to a child, it may not even occur to the child that they have been sexually-abused. Where these acts are performed without consent, where consent is withdrawn, or where consent is given under threat, THEY ARE ILLEGAL, even if the two people are married.
Making a Complaint
If you've experienced sexual assault, the idea of reporting the experience to the Police can seem incredibly intimidating. You don't have to contemplate doing this on your own. We are here to work with you, your whānau and loved ones to provide all the wrap-around support you need to contact the Police with confidence.
NZ Police have provided advice for survivors of rape and sexual abuse, as well as resources on what you need to know about sexual assault.
There are three parts to a complaint. The first part is talking to the police; the second is having a medical examination (if the rape was recent); the third part is making a statement.
For some people, making a complaint can channel anger or a sense of loss into something potentially positive.
Talking to the Police
You can go to the police station or ask the police to come to you to make a complaint. If your attacker was male, you may want to ask to speak to a female officer, but there may not always be one available.
Surveys show that only 10% of rapes are reported to the police.
If the assault was recent, the police will ask for a medical examination to gather forensic evidence.
You can choose to say no; however, the police will need evidence to go to court. The examination will be carried out by a doctor (usually a MEDSACdoctor which stands for Medical Sexual Assault Clinicians Aotearoa) and will take several hours.
ACC Sensitive Claims
ACC has a Sensitive Claims Process for costs relating to counselling and therapy following any sexual assault you may have experienced. We can work through this process with you.