Guidance – Cameroon Information for victims of rape and sexual assault -Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

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This information is provided to help British nationals overseas make informed decisions about whether and how to:

  • seek medical advice and attention
  • report to local police
  • engage with foreign legal authorities following a rape or other form of sexual assault overseas

If you have 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.

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:

  • contact the local police on 1500. For a crime to be investigated, you need to report it to the local police before you leave the country
  • contact your tour operator, if you are travelling with one, for assistance. Where possible, and if you wish, the tour operator may accompany you to the police station as well as local hospital
  • contact the British High Commission Yaoundé on +44 207 008 5000. British High Commission staff will be empathetic, and non-judgmental, and can provide information on local police and medical procedures. Anything you tell them will be treated in the strictest confidence. They can contact your family or friends for you if you wish

Washing yourself or your clothes may make it difficult for the police to obtain forensic evidence.

If you have a tour operator, they should be able to arrange for someone to support you.

If you approach the police directly, you can also ask them to inform Yaoundé British High Commission on +44 207 008 5000 and they can offer you consular support. If you are in Yaoundé, 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 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.

You should:

  • insist you get a police report, and request a translation in English if applicable
  • tell the police if you think you have been drugged

here is a special department in Cameroon who investigate rape and sexual assault cases. If you decide to report the incident, you will be supported by these trained officers. You can ask to speak to a male or female officer. By default, a female victim will be assigned a female officer and vice versa.

Police precincts have English and French speaking officers, so you can ask for a police officer who speaks in English if you would prefer.

The police will lead the investigation. They will collect DNA evidence and may examine your clothes. In addition, they will ask you to describe:

  • the perpetrator
  • the crime scene
  • the details of the assault, including whether there were any witnesses who might be able to help with the case

You will not be requested to surrender your passport to the police, or prohibited to leave the country once the initial investigation is completed.

Consider appointing a local lawyer to accompany you when you provide your statement to the police. See our list of English speaking lawyers in Cameroon who may be able to help you.

Investigations are not judge-led, however, in the event of an arrest the matter may be sent before an examining magistrate who shall open a preliminary investigation.

If the person who committed the crime against you was in a position of authority or care over you, their sentence may be harsher.

Both extra-marital sex and homosexuality are crimes in Cameroon and punishable by law.

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