Today, a new digital directory of services has been launched across the North West to help survivors of sexual violence find support.
www.sexualviolencesupport.co.uk features a postcode search function which allows users to find local support services.
The website also contains Survivor Support Packs which are downloadable resources created in collaboration with survivors. These packs provide all the information you need to know around the definitions of sexual violence crimes, information for parents/carers on supporting children or how to have open conversations at home, and a simplified 15-step summary for the ‘report to court’ process.
Becky Johnston, Sexual Violence Communication and Engagement Manager and project manager for the website said: “Until now, if a survivor was to look for support online, the information can be confusing and overwhelming.
“There are loads of support organisations out there but it’s hard to know which one is specifically commissioned for the area you live in. You could contact an organisation then be referred onto another, then another – a process which when speaking to some survivors has been described as a deterrent for seeking support.
“This new website has been built in collaboration with survivors and using their feedback to improve access to services. We really hope this site makes the process easier for survivors.”
The website has been built in collaboration with North West Police Crime Commissioners, NHS England, and Sexual Assault & Abuse Services.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “This website is a great resource for anyone who has experienced sexual violence and is looking for support.
“As PCC, I would urge anyone who has experienced any form of sexual violence to report it to the Police, whether it is a recent or historic assault, but I understand that this is not an option for everyone which is why these types of resources are so important.
“We have several organisations in Cumbria including the Bridgeway, Victim Support, Safety Net and the Birchall Trust, all of which can be found at www.sexualviolencesupport.co.uk.
“Anyone looking for support, please visit the website and reach out to one of these organisations – do not suffer in silence.”
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual violence, you can contact the police on 101 or find your local specialist support service via www.sexualviolencesupport.co.uk. In an emergency always dial 999.