China: information for victims of rape and sexual assault – GOV.UK

We use some essential cookies to make this website work.
We’d like to set additional cookies to understand how you use GOV.UK, remember your settings and improve government services.
We also use cookies set by other sites to help us deliver content from their services.
You can change your cookie settings at any time.
Departments, agencies and public bodies
News stories, speeches, letters and notices
Detailed guidance, regulations and rules
Reports, analysis and official statistics
Consultations and strategy
Data, Freedom of Information releases and corporate reports
Updated 16 November 2022

© Crown copyright 2022
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: [email protected].
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/information-for-victims-of-rape-and-sexual-assault-in-china/china-information-for-victims-of-rape-and-sexual-assault
If you’ve been sexually assaulted it’s important to remember that it was not your fault. Rape and sexual assault is always wrong – no matter who commits it or where it happens. It is traumatic and it can affect you both physically and emotionally. Do not be afraid to get help.
This information is provided to help British nationals overseas make informed decisions about whether and how to:
For information on support available in the UK, see Rape and Sexual Assault: Returning to the UK.
It is your choice about what you do next, but this information may help you in coming to a decision. The most important thing is to make sure that you are as safe as you can be. You can:
You will need to be in China to report the incident.
If you have a tour operator, they should be able to arrange for someone to support you. If you are in an area where there is a British embassy or consulate, they will try to send a consular officer to support you, where timing and location allow. You will always be able to speak to trained consular staff on the telephone 24/7.
If you approach the police directly, you can also ask them to inform the British Embassy Beijing, the British Consulate General Shanghai or the British Consulate General Guangzhou and they can offer you consular support.
If you choose to report the crime, try to do so as soon as possible so that forensic evidence can be retained. Washing yourself or your clothes may make it difficult for the police to obtain forensic evidence. If you change your clothes think about taking those you were wearing to the police. You may wish to preserve evidence by retaining items such as condoms, toothbrushes or texts and social media messages.
Tell the police if you think you have been drugged.
Insist you get a police report. You should request a translation in English, if applicable, but the authorities may not be able to provide you with one. If you have engaged a lawyer they may be able to arrange a notarised translation for you as well as provide an informal translation at the time.
You will need to make a detailed statement, including a description of the attacker(s).
The police will need to keep any clothes or electronic equipment which may be used as evidence of your attack to present to a forensic examiner.
The police will take you to the nearest hospital which has a formally recognised medical facility to conduct forensic examination.
The police in China will not inform UK police or ask them to undertake checks on you.
Extramarital sex, homosexuality and use of alcohol are not considered criminal offences in China.
Consuming drugs is a violation of public security and carries certain penalties such as fines, administrative detention and/or deportation. You may face such penalties if you test positive for illegal drugs during the investigation process. Harsher penalties should not be applied based on identity or religion but deportation is a common penalty for non-Chinese nationals.
There may not be a female officer available at the police station unless requested in advance. Some police stations have English-speaking officers but most local police stations do not. You may have to wait for an English-speaking officer or an interpreter to arrive at the police station before you can give a full statement. If the circumstances allow and you feel able to do so, you might consider writing down what happened and taking it with you to the police station. You can keep a copy for your own records.
Should you wish to report the incident to the police, you may be asked to provide information about your identity and details of the incident, including:
You may be asked to produce any evidence that you have such as:
If you choose to report the incident to the police, consular staff may be able to accompany you where timing and location allow. If you prefer to be interviewed by a female police officer, we can request that from the local authorities. We can also provide details of local lawyers and interpreters. However, only you can decide if you want to take legal action – we cannot make this decision for you. Whatever you choose, we will support you.
You will not be asked to surrender your passport while the investigation is carried out, but the police will need to check it and make copies.
The British Embassy or Consulate will be able to help you in other ways. This includes helping you to contact your insurance company and your family, assisting with making arrangements to travel back to the UK and providing you with information on local support in the UK.
They can provide you with lists of English-speaking medical facilities, lawyers and translators.
If you are travelling with a tour operator, you can report the incident to them and ask for assistance. If you wish, the tour operator may accompany you to the local hospital. If you wish, and depending on location and timing, a member of consular staff may be able to accompany you.
It is your choice on whether to report the crime. We cannot report this for you, but we will support you with whatever you decide to do. You may wish to consider writing down what happened so that you have your own record that you can share with the police if you want to report the assault later on.
You will still be able to get medical attention, including tests, treatment and prophylaxis (treatment to prevent disease). The hospital will not report the matter to the police without your consent.
Who carries out the examination depends on whether or not you have reported or wish to report the crime:
In some hospitals the following tests are carried out routinely as part of the examination process. In others, you may have to request them separately:
Consular staff will be able to assist you in dealing with the hospital if you wish, and where timing and location allow, consular staff may be able to accompany you there and provide ad hoc translation. They cannot translate medical reports for you. If you are part of an organised tour, your tour guide or tour operator may be able to assist you if you wish.
Medical staff will be able to discuss HIV Post-exposure prophylaxis (HIV PEP) treatment to prevent HIV infection. HIV PEP medication needs to be taken within 72 hours of the incident for it to be effective and the treatment continues for 28 days. The NHS may be able to commence or continue the 28-day treatment on return to the UK.
HIV PEPs are only available at designated hospitals in each city. You may contact the Home of Red Ribbon organisation on +86 (0)10 84322250 (English speaking volunteers available) to find out which is your nearest hospital that provides HIV PEP services. If you are unable to do this, we can help you contact the local authority to seek clarification.
More information about HIV, AIDS and HIV PEP is available in the Information on HIV for foreigners in China guide (produced by UNAIDS, the Home of Red Ribbon and WHOCC- BDH).
Doctors will be able to prescribe emergency contraception to you after the examination. You will need to pay for this as prescriptions are not free.
Emergency contraception is also available to buy over-the-counter in China without prescription. It needs to be taken within 72 hours of the incident for it to be effective.
You will need to pay for your hospital treatment and often payment is taken before treatment commences. You should check with your travel or medical insurance provider what costs they will cover. You may also wish to look at our financial assistance pages for advice on other options. The UK government does not pay for medical treatment.
If you have had medication administered overseas, you should keep the label or make a note of the name of the medication, so that you can let your local health provider know when you return to the UK.
The police may ask to take you to the scene of the crime. You can refuse if you wish, and the police will continue to investigate regardless. It may, however, affect the chances of a conviction. It is unlikely for the police to ask you to go with them to where the attacker might be located, but if they do, you may refuse this request.
You will be asked to make a formal identification of any suspect by picking them out from a selection of photographs of different people.
The process for detention, arrest and trial of any suspect differs considerably from the UK. The process from start to finish will take a minimum of three months and most are concluded within 12 months, depending on the complexity of the case. Cases that are more complex can take even longer.
The public prosecutor will need to interview and take a statement from you. Lawyers cannot give the statement on your behalf. If you have chosen to hire a lawyer, they can access the case file, including any case notes, once the case is passed to the prosecutor.
You will be allowed to leave China once the case is filed but we suggest that you check with the police first in case they need anything further from you before you depart.
If a suspect is ordered to trial, you will not need to testify in court unless you wish to do so. It is common for victims not to be present in court. Your written statement(s) will suffice. If you have left China, you will not need to return unless you wish to do so. You will not be able to testify from outside of China. Rape and sexual assault cases are not open to the public.
If you choose not to engage a lawyer, the police will ask you to leave an address and telephone number to keep you up-to-date on the progress of the case. If you leave China, consular staff can keep you updated on the case progress if you give your consent.
If you have engaged a lawyer, they can seek damages together with the criminal proceedings or by submitting a separate civil case.
If the case is referred for further investigation you may have to provide an additional statement. You will have to be in China to do this.
The charge of rape is an automatic state prosecution. Once filed, you will not be able to drop the charge. Your attacker will be able to press counter charges against you for false accusation should they wish to do so. The police will investigate the counter charge. In such circumstances, you may not be allowed to leave China and will need to confirm this with the police.
If you file a criminal-affiliated civil litigation, the criminal judge will decide and award the damages as actually suffered. You may engage a lawyer to do so on your behalf or, if you can speak and write well in Chinese, you may do so yourself.
The court may send you a notice of the trial date. The trial date may also appear on the official court website (if they have one) or you can call the prosecutor or court to ask. If you have engaged a lawyer they will be able to do this for you. Trials will be heard in Chinese and can last half a day or more. A court interpreter will only be present if the accused is a foreign national.
The sentence will be announced some time after the trial but this can be several months. Defendants have the right to appeal only once, within 10 days of the verdict. The appeal process usually takes two to four months but can last longer.
You may wish to hire a lawyer. They can assist you to give legal advice, communicate with the authorities to track progress of the case, review case files, present during the trial and seek damages on your behalf.
They will not be involved in the investigation because the process and case file will not be disclosed to them until the case is passed to the prosecutor. Lawyers tend to charge for services before the case goes to court.
If you cannot afford a lawyer you can apply for a pro bono legal aid service from the justice bureau which would cover most of the lawyer’s services. However, in practice, it may be difficult for you to secure one as a foreign national.
There are no lawyers who specialise in rape and sexual assault cases, however there are lawyers who specialise in criminal cases with extensive experience in this area.
See list of lawyers and interpreters in China.
During the investigation stage, it will generally be the police that communicate with you or your lawyer. The prosecution and the court will generally communicate with you or your lawyer directly during their respective stages. This will be in the form of notices and telephone calls.
You will need to be able to give a local residence address. If you are not or no longer resident in China, this could be your lawyer’s office address. With your consent, the prosecutor can send all paper notifications to the consulate to forward on to you if you have returned to the UK.
The sentence will depend on whether your attacker is found guilty of rape (强奸) or sexual assault (猥亵). For rape cases, the accused is sentenced to three to 10 years of imprisonment.
For sexual assault cases the maximum sentence is five years unless there are other aggravating factors. For both rape and sexual assault, the sentences can be increased if the victim is a child. A non-custodial rehabilitation sentence can be passed down for sexual assaults judged to be minor.
If the alleged perpetrator is found not guilty, they will be released.
Either the public prosecutor or victim can appeal the verdict.
The courts can order the offender to pay compensation for any injuries or losses but you or your lawyer will need to request this from the court. There is no state-funded compensation scheme.
The police in China will not investigate the crime unless you report it in China.
You can report the crime to the UK police even if you are not seeking an investigation abroad. The UK police can offer you access to victim support in the UK. They may still send some details of the crime to police in China. This might be necessary in order to protect vulnerable people, or to stop more crimes being committed.
You may want to let your GP or a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) know what has happened to you so that you can talk about the experience and seek further support and advice where you live
If you believe you may be at risk of having contracted a sexually transmitted infection (STI), you should ask your local health provider to test you. You should do this even if you have been tested in the country that the assault took place in.
It is your choice to let people know. There are no specific rape crisis centres or helplines to call in China. If you are ready to talk about it, these organisations may be able to help you.
Lifeline Shanghai is a volunteer based non-profit organization that operates an English speaking mental health helpline for the international community across China.
Opening times: 10am to 10pm, 365 days a year
Tel: +86 400 821 1215
Website: www.lifeline-shanghai.com
ISS may be able to provide some support. Note that you will need to be referred to ISS by a member of the consular staff.
Website: www.isshk.org
In addition, the Embassy or Consulates might be able to help identify local service centres or other organisation near your location.
Disclaimer: This information has been prepared by HMG officials who are not legally or medically trained. It should therefore never be used as a substitute for professional medical or legal advice. It is intended to help British nationals overseas make their own informed decisions. Neither HMG nor any official of the Consulate accept liability for any loss or damage which you might suffer as a result of relying on the information supplied.
Medical information has been provided by The Havens Sexual Assault Referral Centres of Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and was accurate at the time of production (02/02/2022).
Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.
To help us improve GOV.UK, we’d like to know more about your visit today. We’ll send you a link to a feedback form. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Don’t worry we won’t send you spam or share your email address with anyone.

source

Leave a Comment

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

Welcome to FactsPrime

Sorry, We have detected that you have activated Ad-Blocker. Please Consider supporting us by disabling your Ad Blocker, It helps us in maintaining this website. To View the content, Please disable adblocker and refresh the page.

Thank You !!!