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At the police

If you want to press charges you have to contact the police. This might not be easy. The police will question you and try to reconstruct what happened.
You might be asked some uncomfortable questions regarding, for example, your alcohol or drug consumption.

It's best to inform the police as soon as possible so that they can proceed to an extensive and thorough preservation of evidence that can be used as evidence in court. You can contact the police by dialling 110, going to the nearest police station or directly contacting the criminal investigation department (department “Delikte am Menschen”). In Berlin this is the LKA, Fachkommissariat 13.

If you press charges with the police, the criminal investigation department will organise for you to be examined by a doctor. Blood and urine samples will be taken if the investigators believe that claims of foul play are substantiated. Physical injuries will be documented. Potential DNA evidence (semen or pubic hair for example) will also be saved as evidence. This is why you should wait until after the medical examination to wash or shower, even if it causes you discomfort or revulsion.

Your rights with the police

  • Try not to go to the police on your own; go with someone you trust and who
    supports you, and insist on keeping them with you during the hearing.
    However, this isn't possible if this person is a witness to the events.
  • If you would prefer the hearing to be conducted by a female police officer, the police is obliged to try to accommodate your request.
  • If some questions throw you off or seem strange to you, you can ask why they are being asked.
  • If the questioning is getting to be too much or too uncomfortable for you, you have the right to interrupt or stop at any time. You can continue later or have another (female) police officer question you. You have the right to have your lawyer with you during the hearing.
  • You can request breaks at any time if you feel exhausted.
  • Only sign the transcript if it accurately reflects your statement. Correct any mistakes before signing it.
  • If German is not your mother tongue, you have to right to have an interpreter. The transcript also must be translated before you sign it.

It takes courage to go to the police

Sexually abusing someone who is incapable of resistance is a crime. It's precisely the criminals who benefit form the victims' feelings of fear and shame. The more victims find the courage to come forward and go to the police, the greater the likelihood that and end will be put to the criminals' game. While it isn't easy and can be stressful to go report a rape under date rape drugs to the police directly after it happened, the sooner you contact the police the greater the likelihood of identifying and convicting the perpetrator.