If you have been a victim of sexual violence, whatever your age, background or gender, then help is closer than you think – that’s the message of a new hard-hitting sexual violence awareness campaign, telling all victims of this crime that ‘you are not to blame’.
Developed by the Isle of Wight Council in partnership with the police and other partners, the campaign will run across social media with a planned series of interactive Instagram and Facebook story posts, covering an array of sexual violence scenarios and facts.
The month-long campaign will also see the release of 4 videos highlighting the support available, including an interview with three Island-based independent sexual violence advisers.
Teresa Brimble-Brennan, the council’s domestic abuse project officer, said:
“Sexual violence or assault can happen to anyone of any age. Most sexual assaults are carried out by someone known to the victim. This could be a partner, former partner, relative, friend or colleague.
“The assault can happen anywhere but usually it is in the home of the victim or alleged perpetrator.
“It is important that anyone affected receives the right advice and support. There are services that can help and you don’t have to report it to the police if you don’t want to. You may need time to think about what has happened.
“The key message of this campaign is that, if you have been the victim of a sexual assault, you are not to blame, help is closer than you think.”
In the past year, the Isle of Wight Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Service has received 115 referrals for both sexual violence and domestic sexual violence. Run by the Hampton Trust, the service provides information and support to victims of current or historic sexual assault.
One survivor said of the support received:
“The prospect of taking a case to court has been daunting, however, with this support I have felt better equipped to deal with the challenges faced throughout the process and more emotionally prepared for the eventual outcomes.
“While this process has been emotionally challenging, the support received has given me belief in my strength to continue towards justice, and provided me with hope towards closure.”
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If someone is in immediate danger, a crime is taking place or has just happened — call 999 and ask for police.
If you have experienced sexual violence, or know someone who has, you can call You First, the Island’s integrated domestic abuse and sexual crime service provider, on freephone 0800 234 6266, or email [email protected].
For further information on domestic abuse and sexual violence, visit www.iwight.com/domesticabuse.
Additional places for support
- A doctor or practice nurse at your GP surgery.
- The 24-hour freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247.
- The Rape Crisis national freephone helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2.30pm and 7-9.30pm every day of the year).
- A hospital accident and emergency (A&E) department.
- St Mary’s sexual health clinic (01983) 534202.
- NHS 111.
- The police, or dial 101.
- If you are in immediate danger always phone 999.