9.70We envisage that complainants would self-refer to a programme provider or be referred from one of several possible points – for instance through a doctor, a sexual violence support agency, including through a Sexual Abuse Assessment and Treatment Service (SAATS) centre; Police; a hospital; a lawyer or via an 0800 phone line or website (as discussed in Part D).
9.71In Part B we recommend that the role of the specialist victims’ advisers under the Ministry of Justice be extended so that they can offer support independently of any trial process. If that recommendation is accepted these advisers could also be expected to inform victims of their options regarding an alternative process.
9.72If a victim was to first approach Police regarding an incident of sexual violence, Police will need to advise the victim of the alternative process as an option for dealing with the incident. Even if Police considered there to be sufficient evidence to file a charge in court in relation to the sexual violence, the option of the alternative process would still need to be put to a victim, with the possibility that the victim may choose not to lay a formal complaint. If the victim does make a complaint, and subsequently the Police decide after investigation not to lay charges, or if prosecution is commenced but discontinued, the victim could be referred or could self-refer to the alternative process.