Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center

Stages in the Criminal Process

Warrant Request and Authorization: The detective/officer assigned to your case will forward a report to the prosecuting attorney’s office. The prosecutor may want to interview you. Because sexual assault is a crime against the citizens of Michigan, the prosecutor represents the people of the State of Michigan and not you specifically. The prosecutor will make the decision about whether or not to prosecute. If you haven’t heard from the prosecutor, you can call the prosecuting attorney’s office and ask to speak with him/her.

Survivors of Sexual Assault Handbook

The Court System

There are two basic types of cases that go to court: criminal and civil.

Survivors of Sexual Assault Handbook

Filing a Police Report

With accurate information about the law and support from friends and family, many sexual assault survivors choose to report the crime and participate in a criminal case against the perpetrator. It is not an easy process for the survivor, but some have found it to be helpful in their journey to healing. If you decide to speak to the police, you can have a friend or an advocate present to support you. You may want to write down everything you can remember about the assault and the perpetrator prior to filing a report. This will help you when you meet with a police officer.

Survivors of Sexual Assault Handbook

STI and HIV Testing

You may want to keep track of STIs for which you have been tested or treated. Ask your doctor or nurse exactly which tests are being completed. It may take several years for the symptoms of some STIs to show up. Information and testing could potentially save your life. The table on the following page contain information about the most eight most common STIs. Ask your health care professional for more information. 


Survivors of Sexual Assault Handbook

Talking With Significant Others

You may be wondering who you should tell or what you should say to significant people in your life.  Parents, friends, employers, neighbors, and partners can be sources of support and solace.  Follow your own heart when deciding who to turn to.  You may worry that you are relying on others too much.  It is okay to ask for help in times of crisis.  People who truly care about you will want to help; people who truly care about you may need to be told how to help you.  It is okay to tell people what you need from them.  It is okay to say:


Survivors of Sexual Assault Handbook