Today marks the start of the UK’s first ever Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence awareness week.
The aim of the week-long campaign is to get people talking about sexual abuse and sexual violence, joining together in sending the message ‘it’s not ok’ and won’t be tolerated.
During the week, individuals and organisations will take part in the conversation on social media, following the #ItsNotOk hashtag, raising awareness about sexual abuse and sexual violence and how to prevent it in the UK, and signposting survivors to local support services.
Norfolk PCC Stephen Bett, said: “I’m proud to be supporting the first ever UK Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence awareness week. It’s important that we are all aware of sexual abuse and sexual violence, and we stand together in supporting survivors, letting them know they’re not on their own and help is available.
“Here in Norfolk we established The Harbour Centre in 2010 to provide practical and emotional support to those who have suffered sexual abuse and sexual violence, and last year I worked with the Centre to support the extension of its services to children.
“While I very much wish its services weren’t needed, it gives me some comfort to know that victims of any age are able to access first-class help and support from the dedicated and highly-skilled staff at the Harbour Centre. The hashtag says it all: ‘it’s not ok’, and the least we can do for people who have experienced something truly horrendous is to ensure they get the best support possible to help them cope with and recover from what’s happened to them.”
Detective Superintendent Julie Wvendth, of Norfolk Constabulary’s Safeguarding and Investigations Command, said: “Norfolk Constabulary encourages anyone to come forward and report abuse. We work together in partnership, to support people to take that first step in speaking out and services are on hand at the Harbour Centre to allow reports to be taken in a comfortable setting and where those reporting will be put at immediate ease.
“No-one should suffer any violence or abuse at the hands of any other person and we would wish to reassure people that concerns and reports will be taken seriously.”
The Harbour Centre is a 24-hour multi-agency facility providing victims with the opportunity to access a forensic examination, pathways into health care, counselling and support without an obligation to report the incident to the police. You can visit www.theharbourcentre.co.uk for further information.
Anyone who would like to speak in confidence about sexual abuse and sexual violence, can contact police on 101 or staff at The Harbour Centre on 0845 456 4810 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show your support on social media: #itsnotok / @itsnotok2016
For more information about Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence awareness week, please visit – https://www.survivorsuk.org/awareness-week-2016/