Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner is supporting ‘It’s not OK’ Week, showcasing the support that is available across the county to help victims of sexual abuse and sexual violence.
Sexual violence is a general term used to describe any unwanted sexual activity and includes any act by violence, coercion or manipulation. Abusers can have a relationship with a victim, for example a partner or family member, or they could be a stranger.
Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week is a chance to bolster knowledge, give people the space to talk and be heard, as well as spotlight how victims can get the support they need. It provides an opportunity for dialogue and discussion, as this subject often be challenging to speak about, whether you are a victim or not.
Across Warwickshire, the Commissioner funds a number of services designed to help victims and survivors of sexual abuse and violence cope and recover, whether or not they have reported the incident to the police. For those that do, the services also provide advice and support as cases progress through the criminal justice process.
It comes as part of the Police and Crime Plan’s focus area on violence against women and girls. The Commissioner has been successful in attracting more than £1.1million of additional government funding to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence and improve service provision, including expanding the numbers of Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs).
Mr Seccombe said: “It’s important that our work has a strong victim focus. We want to encourage more victims to come forward and report these types of crimes, in the knowledge that they will be taken seriously, and met with sensitivity and care throughout the process.
“It’s why I am supporting Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week. There are many amazing services available across Warwickshire to help victims and survivors of abuse, including Safeline which I commission to provide a county-wide specialist support service, as well as other organisations such as RoSA and the Blue Sky Centre in Nuneaton, which I also give funding to.
“Together we must make it clear ‘It’s not OK’, that sexual violence and abuse is unacceptable and that agencies will do everything possible to support victims and bring perpetrators to justice.”
How can victims get support in Warwickshire?
In Warwickshire, the Police and Crime Commissioner funds the following support services:
Provides specialist, tailored support for anyone in Warwickshire affected by or at risk of sexual abuse and rape, that empowers them to make choices about the lives they want and helps prevent abuse.
Call Safeline on 01926 402 498. The Warwickshire and Coventry Survivors Helpline is also available on 0808 8005008.
For more details visit: safeline.org.uk
The Blue Sky Centre
Warwickshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, based at the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton. It offers medical, practical and emotional support to anyone who has been sexually assaulted or raped.
Call Blue Sky Centre on 0800 970 0370. All calls are confidential.
For more details visit: blueskycentre.org.uk
Children and Young People Sexual Assault Service
The West Midlands Children and Young People Sexual Assault Service specialises in helping children and young people who have experienced any form of sexual abuse including rape.
It provides medical care and support to children, young people and their families or carers across the West Midlands region.
The CYPAS helpline on 0330 233 0099 is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
For more details visit: westmidsregionalcypsas.co.uk
An independent Warwickshire charity offering free confidential support for anyone who has experienced the trauma of rape, sexual abuse or sexual violence.
Call RoSA’s confidential helpline on 01788 551 151.
For more details visit: rosasupport.org
If you, or someone you know, is at immediate risk of harm, always call 999.
You can find a full list of local and national organisations that can help at: https://www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk/helpingyou/rape-and-sexual-offences/