PCC asks people to join him in raising awareness of the north west sexual violence week 8-14 November
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Peter McCall, along with North West PCC’s, police forces, and sexual assault and abuse services, asks people to join him in raising awareness of the north west sexual violence week 8-14 November.
The north west sexual violence awareness week will take place from 8-14 November and each day throughout the week, a different county will be hosting their own dedicated event/activity to raise awareness within their communities. These range from art installations from university students to moments of reflection in the form of vigils, all of which aim to engage local communities and promote the support available to survivors of sexual violence.
According to the World Health Organisation, one in three women endure physical or sexual violence and one in four adolescent girls ages 15-19 who have had a relationship have been subjected to either physical or sexual violence. In addition, approximately 12,000 men (aged 16-59) are raped in the UK every year and more than 70,000 are sexually abused or assaulted.
Peter McCall comments: “Even though the topic is understandably an incredibly sensitive one, it is vital that we start conversations about sexual violence and where people can access help locally.
“By talking openly about sexual violence and bringing the topic to the forefront of people minds, we can spread the word and key message to victims, that help is out there and not to suffer in silence.
“Sexual violence is happening here in Cumbria and I encourage people to raise awareness on all the specialist support services we have available across the county.
“Police and Crime Commissioners, police forces, local authorities and NHS England all co-ordinate the countywide support for victims of sexual violence at The Bridgeway. Their services offer specialist forensic and medical support at their Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), Independent Sexual Violence Advisor service and also, counselling and therapeutic services that all work together to help a client who has been raped or sexually assaulted to recover.”
Donna Cardell, manager at The Bridgeway comments: “Since the lockdown has been lifted, we have seen an increase in the amount of people accessing our service. In the last 3 months of 2020 we had 60 referrals but in the same 3 months of this year, we have had 96.
“This Awareness of Sexual Violence week will give the people of Cumbria the information they need to access the appropriate, specialist services they require.”
Rebecca Williams, project lead and Sexual Violence Communications and Engagement Manager said: “This week we are encouraging people across the North West to talk openly about sexual violence and their experiences, whether that be to a friend, family or one of the specialist organisations.
“Sexual violence can happen to anyone at anytime and anywhere. You are not alone!
“Previously finding a local specialist service may have been difficult or overwhelming due to the vast amount of information online. Working with survivors and local organisations, we have launched a new website https:// sexualviolencesupport.co.uk/ that will help you find the service that is right for you.
“In addition, we have created ‘support packs’ which provide explanations of what sexual violence is, how you can seek help, how you can support others and a simplified guide on report to court.”
Representatives of the PCC will be attending a stalled event at Cumbria University, Fusehill Street campus on 8 November from 11.30-4pm, providing the opportunity to have open discussions with professionals and learn about local support services.
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual violence you can contact the police direct on 101, or in an emergency call 999. If you do not wish to contact the police, you can self-refer to:
0808 118 6432
0808 1689 111
To join in with the campaign or find out more information, visit: https://sexualviolencesupport.co.uk/cumbria-sexual-violence-awareness-week/
or email firstname.lastname@example.org