Police and Crime Commissioner Praises the Bridgeway Sexual Assault Service
Cumbria’s newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, has recently visited The Bridgeway Centre in Penrith, where he undertook a tour of the building and had a ‘walk-through’ of what a victim who attends the centre after rape or sexual assault would experience.
The Bridgeway Centre is one part of the Bridgeway Sexual Assault Service that was launched last December. The service has a number of specially trained staff who provide emotional, practical and therapeutic support across the county, as well as the medical and emotional care at The Bridgeway Centre. Staff there can also refer people onto other services, as appropriate to their needs. Crisis support is available any time of the day or night via The Bridgeway’s free helpline, whether someone has just experienced an assault or needs to talk to someone about something in the past.
Mr McCall said: “I am very impressed to see first-hand this exceptional facility which has been designed specifically with the needs of victims, survivors and their families in mind. It will provide a safe, comfortable environment during what would undoubtedly be a distressing time for them.
“Speaking to the staff there has shown me how dedicated and caring they are. I was impressed with how focussed they are on making people feel comfortable and taking things at their pace. From the feedback that has been received so far, I understand that people who use The Service have found it to be invaluable in terms of the level of practical and emotional support provided to help them cope and start the journey to recovery.
“We do hope that by raising awareness about the Bridgeway Services that those affected by rape or sexual assault will have the confidence to come forward, safe in the knowledge that the services they need are readily available to them.”
Since the Bridgeway Service was launched, more than 200 victims and survivors of sexual assault have received help and support. The specially trained staff can provide emotional, practical and therapeutic support, where appropriate forensic-medical care and also direct people to other services appropriate to their needs.
To contact The Bridgeway call the 24/7 helpline on 0808 118 6432