PCC shows support for Sexual Violence Awareness Week
To mark Sexual Violence Awareness Week, (4th–11th February), Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne is encouraging Sussex Police and partners 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 and support is out there.
Mrs Bourne said: “Last month I held an awareness raising campaign for our local victim support services called ‘A Life More Ordinary’. It showcased six brave women who have been victims of various types of crime, the youngest of whom, was a victim of sexual assault. Since this campaign we have seen an uplift of 68% in victims reaching out for help and support in Sussex. This is testament to the fact that awareness raising campaigns like this one really do work and are essential to remind victims of crime that there are people who can help them to begin a journey of recovery.
“The effects of sexual violence can be devasting for both the victim and their families. It is vital that these people know where to turn to for support, whether they decide to report to the police or not. I want every victim of crime across the county to know that they will be heard and that action can be taken against the perpetrators.
Detective Superintendent Till Sanderson of the Sussex Police Public Protection Command said; “We recognise the devastating impact that sexual abuse and violence has on peoples' lives, and recent increases in reporting hopefully indicate that victims have increasing trust and confidence in reporting to us. All reports of this nature are taken extremely seriously and are fully investigated. In addition to specialist investigators, our recently introduced sexual offences-trained officers ensure victims are supported as well as possible."
Mrs Bourne wants organisations across the county to take selfies pledging their support for #itsnotok and share details of the online directory of local support services for Sussex, www.safespacesussex.org.uk
“By supporting #itsnotok we can encourage those affected by this crime to seek support.”