When it comes to adults reporting or pursuing charges for sexual assault or abuse, the choice is completely yours. There is no time limit, so you can take your time to make this decision. This section is intended to provide helpful information for those who have decided to report and those who are still deciding.
Note: Sometimes, reporting is not an option and is required by law. This is the case for any person who is considered to be vulnerable, including:
- Children and youth (people who are under 18). For information about how to report, click here
- Adults who are included under the Persons in Care Act
- For all vulnerable persons, reporting is required even if you aren’t sure if they were sexually assaulted/abused
In this section you will find information about what reporting options exist, and how to report.
What is Reporting?
Reporting means contacting police or RCMP and telling an officer what happened. This is often done to begin an investigation that may lead to charges on the person who offended. If you’d like to talk with someone about reporting options, you can call the SACE 24-Hour Support and Information Line at 780.423.4121.
To make a report, you will make a written statement that includes your name and an officer will seek to gather evidence. After a report has been made the officer, in collaboration with the Crown, will determine whether or not there is reasonable likelihood that a charge could lead to a conviction. If there is reasonable likelihood, charges will be laid and a court process will begin. If not, no charges will be laid. However, the report will remain on file.
Charges not being laid is not a reflection on the truth of your statement, and does not hinder access to SACE services.
If you do not want to go through the legal or court processes, you can still file a report and a record of the sexual assault will remain on file in case you choose to pursue it at a later date.
How do I Report?
To lay charges with the Edmonton Police Service *, you have three options:
- Call the non-emergency police line at 780.423.4567. You will speak with a dispatch officer who will send a uniformed officer to speak with you in person.
- Go to the hospital and speak with a SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) nurse if the assault happened within the last 7 days. Learn more here
- Go to a police station and report to the officer at the desk. You may be asked to write a witness statement while the officer starts the report. To find a police station near you, click here.
* We recommend reading “What you can expect when reporting a sexual assault” on the Edmonton Police Service website.
To lay charges with the RCMP, you can:
- Phone or go into your local RCMP office. To find your local RCMP office location and contact information, click here.
This section provides information about the steps you can take to make a complaint about sexual harassment. To learn about the definition of sexual harassment, click here to visit our Learn section. If you feel that your work place, working conditions, prospects for promotions or earnings, living accommodations or access to public services are being affected by sexual harassment you can file a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
Because sexual harassment falls under human rights law and not the Criminal Code of Canada, complaints regarding sexual harassment must be reported to the Human Rights Commission. Each province has its own Human Rights Commission, so Alberta residents will contact the Alberta Human Rights Commission by calling either the Northern or Southern Confidential Inquiry Lines.
- Northern Confidential Inquiry Line: 780.427.7661
- Southern Confidential Inquiry Line: 403.297.6571
- Alberta-wide toll free TTY Line for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing: 1.800.232.7215
To view the Alberta Human Rights Commission Website, click here.
To learn about the reporting process, visit here.
Should a charge lead to a trial, the SACE Court Support program is available for the following support and information:
- Accompaniment to court proceedings
- Help preparing for court
- Information about criminal justice proceedings
- Emotional support through the legal process
- Information about legal rights and responsibilities
In addition to the above services, the following resources may be helpful for people going to court:
- Statement of Basic Principles of Justice (a list of victim’s rights during court procedures)
- How to Make a Complaint to the Department of Justice (if any of the above victim’s rights are infringed upon or denied)
- How to Apply for Victim’s of Crime Benefit Fund