To mark Sexual Violence Awareness Week, (4th–11th February), Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite is today (Monday 4th) launching a countywide campaign to raise awareness of support available to survivors of sexual violence.
The national campaign, #itsnotok takes place every year to remind people who have experienced sexual violence that help is out there.
Organisations across the county, including Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership and Cambridgeshire County Council will be encouraging leaders, staff, and officers to take selfies pledging their support for #itsnotok.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite said
“People who find themselves survivors of sexual violence deserve a blanket of love and care whether they report the crime to the police or not. The effects can be devastating and it is vital people know where to turn to for support. They need to know they will be believed and that action can be taken against perpetrators.
“By supporting #itsnotok we can all encourage those affected by this devastating crime to seek support.”
Detective Superintendent Laura Koscikiewicz from Cambridgeshire Constabulary said:
“We work closely with a number of partner agencies who endeavour to help victims of sexual violence throughout the county.
“If you are a victim of sexual violence then I would urge you to come forward to police. We are here to support you.”
Services available to victims include:
· The countywide Victim and Witness Hub which offers free, confidential support to victims and witnesses of crime, including face to face support and access to any relevant external services. The service ensures that victims have access to end-to-end support, from immediately after a crime has been committed, to any ensuing court proceedings.
· The Elms (a county-wide Sexual Assault Referral Centre), which offers survivors a safe place to receive support, medical aftercare, forensic examinations, and to anonymously report assaults.
· Confidential support is also available for survivors of sexual violence and/or sexual abuse at any time in their lives from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership (CAPRCP). CAPRCP offer free counselling, face-to-face emotional support, pre-trial therapy, a telephone helpline, email support services and group work. They also have an Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy (ISVA) service for adults and children needing practical and emotional help. All CAPRCP services can be found on www.caprcp.org.uk.
· And for young people aged between 13 and 19 (or 24 with additional needs) who have been affected by sexual violence, therapeutic support is available from ‘Time4U’, a counselling service that offers emotional help through talking therapies. Delivered locally by national charity Embrace – Child Victims of Crime (CVOC), the project also helps young people who use violence and abuse as a result of being themselves traumatised or victims of other types of abuse.