Sexual Assault Disclosure Scheme (SADS)
A powerful, anonymous yet official reporting tool for survivors of child sexual assault and others.
"We must accept that we will never know who the child sexual predators are until the victims/survivors tell us – it is they who have the power to protect this generation of children against these same offenders. But those harmed will never tell us until we provide and environment that encourages and helps them to do so. The Sexual Assault Disclosure Scheme (SADS) provides them a safe and effective means to disclose and as such, provides survivors with the means to protect thousands of children from exposure and possible assault by these known sexual predators."
Bravehearts Founder and CEO, Hetty Johnston AM
"As a survivor I had never disclosed to anyone. I was afraid no one would believe me, that I was the only one and even, that is was partly my fault. At 24 years old I still had these fears but even more powerful was the thought that he might still be hurting other kids just like he did me. I wondered too if I was the only one of my family he did this too. Then I heard about SADS. I felt a strong responsibility to report him, to see if others had done the same, to let the police know so the next kid might be believed, even if I wasn’t. SADS gave me the tool to disclose the identity of this person anonymously and without the trauma of a police station. I know all I could do was tell someone so I did. I did it through SADS. Now he is in jail and my nieces are finally safe. Thank you Bravehearts."
Bravehearts’ Sexual Assault Disclosure Scheme has been established to support adult survivors in their disclosures to police. If you have concerns about current sexual harm of children, please report these directly to the police or the child protection authority in your State. If you would like advice on this process, please contact Bravehearts’ crisis and support staff on 1800 272 831. If you have already provided the concerns to police or child protection and you are dissatisfied with the response, please contact Bravehearts’ advocacy team on 1800 272 831 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bravehearts understands that many victims need the belief and/or validation of others to gain the strength to disclose and to heal. Bravehearts also recognises that disclosure, awareness and education are the best weapons against the continuing sexual assault of children.
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.
"Child sexual assault is, for the most part, preventable. SADS provides the community a tool to prevent the preventable. What we know is offenders rarely, if ever, offend against only one child, or only once. There are almost always others who have been harmed by the same person. Often offenders move from one child to another in the same family, institution or organisation or from one family to another across the country. Each victim, or parent of victim, faces the same valid fears around disclosure and these fears carry on into adulthood. But Silence, Secrecy and Shame, the 3 S’s - belong to the offenders, not to their victims. These three S’s are the predators best friend and our children’s worst enemy. Bravehearts is changing how we all deal with this issue. SADS provides a means for anonymous disclosure to Bravehearts who then provide only the offender details to police. Police use this information to add to their intelligence bank with a view to identify who the offenders are in our communities. The identity of the person disclosing remains confidential with Bravehearts until such time as the person making the disclosure wants to reveal their identity – if ever. The bottom line is we know the overwhelming motivation by survivors to disclose is not vengeance but rather, a deep desire to protect other children from the same fate. The fact is that those who know who the offenders are have the power to protect today’s children and now they have the means to do it in a way that honours, respects and cares for them at the same time.
Bravehearts Founder and CEO, Hetty Johnston AM
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. It provides a safe, non-triggering, anonymous and protective opportunity for survivors to seek and find an active willingness by authorities to register their allegations of sexual assault.
SADS provides survivors of child sexual assault with an official, safe and non-threatening means to disclose information about the person who has assaulted them. 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.
Completing SADS Forms
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.
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
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 click (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.