Leave this site

Help guide

From Report to Court

A handbook for adult survivors of sexual violence navigating the legal system.


This handbook was created by Rights of Women who support women through navigating the legal system.

As stated in the handbook:

From Report to Court has been written to provide information and support to people who have experienced sexual violence, as well as to their families, friends and the
organisations that support them. We use the term sexual violence throughout the handbook to describe a sexual act, or attempt to commit a sexual act, that takes place without the consent (agreement) of the person who has experienced it. This includes, but is not limited to, situations where physical or other violence is also used.

This handbook will explain the different stages of the legal process, from the point of deciding whether to report the incident to the police, through to the trial, the utcome of the trial and sentence. From Report to Court also sets out the relevant law and what obligations the different agencies in the criminal justice system (for example, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service) have to survivors of sexual violence.

The information in this handbook is correct to September 2018. The law is complex and may have changed since this handbook was produced. This handbook is designed to provide general information only for the law in England and Wales and is not legal advice. If you are affected by any of the issues in this handbook you should seek up-to-date, independent legal advice.

Rights of Women does not accept responsibility for any reliance placed on the legal information contained in this guide.