Woman speaks about support provided by Juniper Lodge
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A woman has spoken about the ongoing support she has received from Juniper Lodge Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) during a rape investigation.
The woman was provided with the option of using the services of the centre in May after reporting an offence of rape against her to the police.
She accepted this offer at the time and described feeling “very supported” at the centre.
She said: “I found Juniper Lodge really supportive. At no point did I feel I had done anything wrong and despite what had happened, I felt reassured at the centre. It didn’t feel like I was there because of what had happened – I just felt very supported.”
Further support has been continually offered since and although she hasn’t felt that she needs to accept this at this time, she said she knows it is there for her if she needs it.
She added: “I haven’t accepted further support at this stage but I know that if I do need anything in the next months or even year, it is there for me
“It’s not just me who has been provided with this but also my family members who have needed it too.”
Inside Juniper Lodge
Following her visiting the centre and a police investigation being launched, enquiries led to a man being arrested and charged with the offence which happened in Watermead Park area.
On Tuesday 9 July at Leicester Crown Court, Gurpal Singh Gill pleaded guilty to three counts of rape and three counts of assault by penetration. Last Friday (20 September), he was sentenced to 11 years and three months imprisonment.
Juniper Lodge provides its comprehensive service to anyone aged 18 and over living in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland who has been raped or sexually assaulted either recently or at any time in the past.
The SARC provides discreet services by experienced professionals and offers forensic medical examinations, which includes access to emergency medication and contraception, referral to other specialist agencies, one to one support sessions and access to an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor.
The centre’s state of the art facilities includes forensic medical suites, video interview rooms, counselling rooms and a family room.
Victims of offences can use the centre without having reported the offence to the police. Staff at the centre will provide the option to report to the police if chosen.
The service is free and confidential and no commitment is required.
Millicent Gant, SARC manager, said: “We’re here to support, reassure and provide the information you need to make your own choices. We have a team of specially trained and dedicated staff who understand what impact rape and sexual assault can have on people’s lives.
“We work with partner agencies to ensure you will receive the best support and assistance available and we will endeavour to help you recover both physically and emotionally – this is whether you have chosen to report to the police or not.”
More information can be found at http://www.juniperlodge.org.uk/