Sexual assault is a serious crime often resulting in major physical or psychological injury. Under-reporting of sexual offences remains a critical issue. It is important to remember that with a sexual assault, as with any violence offence, police can play a critical role in assessing risk and protecting the victim and other potential victims from further violence. To help police protect potential victims, every effort must be made to encourage reporting of these crimes particularly in high risk cases, or cases involving serial offenders or sexual predators.
In British Columbia, Third Party Reporting (TPR) of sexual assault is a process which allows adult victims (19 and over) to report details of a sexual offence/assault to police anonymously, through a Community Based Victim Services Program (CBVS). This “Third Party Report” is an option of last resort for victims who would not otherwise provide information to the police. It is not a substitute for a call to 911, nor is it in and of itself a police investigation.
The BC TPR protocol is led by Ending Violence Association of BC’s Community Coordination for Women’s Safety (CCWS) program, which supports CBVS and police to develop local interagency protocols and to implement and maintain the TPR protocol. The TPR Protocol is guided by a provincial TPR Work Team comprised of CCWS, BC Association of Chiefs of Police, RCMP “E” Division, Vancouver Police Department Sex Crimes Unit, BC Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police, and BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.