National week of awareness about sexual assault and violence begins today.
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Monday 6 February 2023 marks the start of the national week of awareness about sexual assault and violence, known as It’s Not Ok.
The campaign aims to reach people affected by these types of abuse and to access information about local services and the support, help and guidance available to them.
Leicestershire Police work with partner agencies as part of the Response to Sexual Violence (R2SV) group, the partners include Trade, Quetzal, First Step, Jasmine House and FreeVa who all provide bespoke support to people who have experienced sexual assault or violence in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
These services are available to adults and young people regardless of race, age, background or gender, whether or not the crimes are recent or historic or reported to the police.
Juniper Lodge is a Sexual Assault Referral Centre known as SARC. Leicestershire’s SARC Manager, Millie Gant, said: “A SARC is a safe place where options after a sexual assault are discussed. Every person contacting us is given the time and space to discuss what they want to, with no pressure to report to the police.
“How people choose to proceed is entirely up to them, our team will wholly support all decisions made. We know there are barriers which impact people choosing to come forward and we want to reassure those people that they will be treated non-judgementally.
“If you have been a victim of sexual abuse or violence or have concerns about a loved one, please know that the SARC team, support organisations and the police, are accessible to you for advice. This can be either by telephone or initially on-line if you feel it is too overwhelming to pick up the phone.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews welcomed the campaign, adding: “Victims of crime are at the heart of everything we do. It is imperative that victims of rape and sexual violence have the confidence to come forward to seek support and justice. To help support people through the most traumatic of experiences, my office has allocated over £1.7m of funding for domestic abuse and sexual violence support services over the next couple of years.
“As a society and an organisation, I want to see more people coming forward to report offences and am pleased to see recent legislation designed to make investigations less invasive for victims. I sincerely hope that in time we will be able to gauge just how under-reported these truly abhorrent crimes so that prevention and support services can be targeted at those most at risk.”
Details for the R2SV partners are in the table below:
Are a health charity, supporting the LGBT+ community with their sexual and overall health needs and concerns