1. Sexual violence does not only include physical harm. The law was changed in 2013 to cover a broader range of offences, including sexual harassment, voyeurism and stalking.
2. One can file an FIR against sexual violence in any police station, not necessarily the one nearest to the incident.
3. One can register a complaint either over phone or e-mail. But to complete the FIR registration one must visit a police station.
4. An FIR can be filed by a friend, witness or a family member too. But they must have the full consent of the survivor and the survivor must be willing to be part of the investigations later.
5. If a survivor of sexual violence is physically or mentally disabled, a police officer must visit the survivor to register the FIR.
6. Police cannot refuse to file an FIR. If refused the police officer can be punished under law and you can register a complaint with higher authorities.
7. A woman police officer must be present when you file an FIR against sexual violence.
8. After registering an FIR, one is entitled to a court-appointed lawyer. But it is good to consult your own lawyer.
Unless an FIR is filed, an investigation will not start and unless an investigation is started, the guilty cannot be prosecuted and brought to justice.
According to National Family Health Survey, 2005-06, only 1% of women who face sexual violence ever file an FIR in India. That is an abysmal number and has to be improved.
Amnesty International India’s 'Know Your Rights' programme educates people about filing an FIR against sexual violence using virtual reality, e-learning platforms, WhatsApp and a missed call service.
Besides this, Amnesty International India is also working with the police and local communities to reduce the community's fears and to encourage survivors to approach the police.
Check out their campaign at amnesty.ketto.org/KYR and support!