Police Commissioner reminds survivors of sexual violence that support continues to be available
February 1st, 2021
AS THE country marks Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week – #itsnotok, (1st-7th February), Acting Police and Crime Commissioner, Ray Bisby, is reminding victims of sexual abuse and violence that support is available in spite of the current lockdown.
After securing more than £600,000 of additional funding with partners for services supporting domestic and sexual abuse victims earlier in 2020, the Commissioner wants people to know that emotional and practical support continues to be provided.
In Cambridgeshire, support services for victims are commissioned through the Acting Commissioner’s office and provided by Cambridge and Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world over the last year and whilst times have changed, our work has not,” Norah Al-Ani from Cambridge and Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership said.
“Thanks to our incredible team of staff and volunteers we are still supporting survivors of sexual violence and will continue to do so. As part of Sexual Violence Awareness Week, we want to reassure survivors of rape, child sexual abuse and all forms of sexual violence that we are still here, and you are not alone. Please contact us if you need support.”
The Partnership provides survivors of sexual violence with medical, practical and emotional support.
Additionally, there is also 24/7 support from specially trained doctors, nurses and support staff at the County’s SARC (Sexual Abuse Referral Centre), known as ‘The Elms’ in Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdon. The service is jointly funded by Cambridgeshire Constabulary and NHS England and provided by Mountain Healthcare.
“For people experiencing sexual abuse, staying at home can present serious challenges and need to know there is still comprehensive support available. Whether incidents experienced by victims are reported to the police or not, it is important that anyone experiencing sexual abuse or sexual violence understands how to access support”, explains Acting Police and Crime Commissioner, Ray Bisby.
“I urge anyone who is a victim of sexual assault to seek help.”
Services have continued to be delivered throughout the pandemic with staff working flexibly to meet victims’ needs.
Any victims wishing to access support can call the Freephone advice number on 0800 781 6818 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is also online advice on the Victims’ Services website which provides details of other local and national organisations providing specialist support, Visit www.cambsvictimservices.co.uk for more information.