SEXUAL ASSAULT DISCLOSURE SCHEME (SADS)
Bravehearts’ Sexual Assault Disclosure Scheme (SADS) has been established to support adult survivors in their disclosures to police. Bravehearts understands that many survivors need to feel believed and/or the validation of others to gain the strength to disclose and to heal from the trauma they have experienced.
Through SADS, survivors of child sexual assault are provided with an official, non-threatening means to disclose their experiences to the police. SADS provides a reporting avenue that does not require a detailed statement, or direct police contact, until such time as the survivor is ready to proceed. The choice to proceed will always remain with the participant!
Many challenges exist in the identification, reporting and disclosure of child sex offenders and offences. These include:
- Fear of breaking the silence and coming forward;
- Fears that the victims’ story will not be heard let alone believed or validated;
- The victims themselves are increasingly isolated by their own fear, shame and self-persecution;
- Fear and lack of faith in the establishment/authority figures;
- Anxiety about their own families and society’s potential disbelief, intolerance and lack of support;
- Fear that disclosure will result in them being treated ‘differently’ by friends and family;
- Concerns about confidentiality, losing control of the situation; and
- No confidence or gratification in the sentencing/justice outcomes.
The Sexual Assault Disclosure Scheme (SADS) was developed by Bravehearts to overcome these barriers and assist survivors in their disclosure to police in a safe and non-confronting way. SADS was created with the help of the Queensland Police, Queensland Crime Commission, Criminal Justice Commission, Attorney General’s Office, Commission for Children and Young People, the Public Defenders and the Department of Public Prosecutions, and is administered by Bravehearts working with Police across the nation. It provides a safe, non-triggering, anonymous and protective opportunity for survivors in every nook and cranny of the nation to seek and find an active willingness by authorities to register their allegations of sexual assault.
Providing information through SADS will not guarantee an investigation by police, but it is a means for you to provide police with information. Police can only assess the possibility of an investigation if they have enough information and if they are able to speak with you. If you wish the Police to investigate but have concerns about speaking directly to the Police, please contact Bravehearts on 1800 272 831 for support.
How to Complete SADS Forms
The Scheme is outlined in the following dot points:
- Two forms (linked by a common identification number) are completed either online or via paper copy.
- Form A only seeks information on the person making the disclosure. Form A is held securely by Bravehearts.
- Form B seeks information on the alleged offender and offence. Form B is provided to the Police.
- Bravehearts will contact you on receipt of your forms to offer support and discuss options for you.
- If you are happy to speak to the Police your name and contact number will be passed on and Police can speak with you to establish whether or not an investigation is possible.
- If you do not wish to speak to the Police, your name and contact details will not be provided to the police. The information from Form B will be sent to the Police and will be put into the Police information system as intelligence. This will still assist Police as the information you disclose may provide them with important additional information if the alleged offender is, or becomes, known to them through another victim.
- If you have not agreed to have your details passed on to Police, the Police may contact Bravehearts if there is enough information provided to act on and ask us to contact you. If this happens, Bravehearts will contact you to ask if you are interested in speaking with the Police. The decision whether or not you wish to speak to the Police is completely yours to make.
If at any time you wish to speak to Police about the information you have provided, you can contact Bravehearts or the Police directly. Bravehearts’ Sexual Assault Disclosure Scheme can now be submitted securely online. The forms are protected and the information is encrypted and saved on a secure server, but if you would rather complete hard copies of the forms, please download now.
To complete the forms online, please click here. You will be taken directly to Form A, which asks for your contact details.
On completion of Form A, please complete Form B on the bottom of the page.
Form B asks for details on the offender and the offence. You do not have to fill out all the fields if you do not have all of the information. On the completion of Form B you have the option to submit or to complete a separate Form B if you are reporting on more than one offender. Please note that if there are multiple offenders, a separate Form B must be completed for each one. If this is the case please click (Complete Form B for another offender) at the bottom of Form B.
A Bravehearts representative will contact you within 3 working days of receiving your forms to confirm that we have received them. If you do not hear from us, please contact our advocacy team on 1800 272 831.
Please contact Bravehearts at any time if you have any questions about your participation in SADS. For more information, please download our SADS Brochure here, or alternatively, email us and one of our qualified staff will respond to you as soon as possible.