A night to celebrate our local victim support services

21/01/2019

Support services from across Sussex and victims of crime joined together on Wednesday night, at the Jubilee Library Brighton, to celebrate the Sussex PCC, Katy Bourne’s ‘A Life More Ordinary’ campaign.

This is part of a week-long photographic exhibition at the library, running until Sunday, which showcases six brave women who have come forward and shared their experiences of sexual assault, stalking, hate crime and domestic abuse.

Meeting face-to-face for the first time last night the women shared their stories with one another and took the opportunity to thank the PCC-funded support services that have helped them and their families to cope and recover.

Katy Bourne said, “I wholeheartedly commend Poppy, Norma, Alice, Vivienne, Natalie and Lorraine’s courage in sharing their stories which have helped us promote our local support services and encourage other victims of crime to begin their journey of recovery.

“They have all met for the first time tonight. One of the women has told me that she felt like a fraud as her story (in her eyes) was not as harrowing and emotional as some of the other women’s here tonight.

“To that, I just wanted to say; all that matters is how YOU have been affected by what has happened to you. Victims of crime should never have to suffer in silence or measure their suffering against the suffering of others. My message is; if you have been a victim of any crime, whether you are male or female, there are support services in Sussex that are here to help you.”

The parents of the campaign’s youngest participant, who was a victim of sexual assault, commented on the importance of people reaching out for help. “The young witness service facilitated the healing between me and my daughter because she had a safe place away from the family to offload her worries. I would say definitely, if you have been affected by crime, take the opportunity to access these services because they are really helpful. They are people who really know how things work and will be able to help you get through things.”

T/Chief Superintendent Jason Taylor said, “This event highlighted the stories of some remarkable and truly inspirational women. I was delighted to hear that the many victim services we work so closely with were able to provide effective support when it was most needed. I hope their collective experiences will highlight the range of services available and give confidence to those who may be a victim of crime that they will be supported.”

“With a population of 1.6m in Sussex, it is important to make sure that no victim slips through the cracks especially those who choose not to report to the police or are too scared to” said Katy Bourne.

Safe: Space Sussex (an online directory of local support services) is a safe place for any victim of crime to find the help and support they need.
There is still time to see the exhibition; it will feature at the Jubilee Library, Brighton until Sunday 20th January.

Notes for editors

To read more on the women's stories follow this link to the online exhibition: http://lmo.safespacesussex.org.uk/a-life-more-ordinary/

For more information on the campaign or to interview any of the participants contact: Natalie.mcfall@sussex-pcc.gov.uk

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