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Police team up with organisations to offer help and support to victims of rape and sexual assault
PEOPLE affected by rape or serious sexual assault are being urged to seek help from police or support services as part of a new campaign.
West Mercia and Warwickshire police have teamed up with The Glade Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Worcestershire and Telford and Shropshire and Telford’s Axis in a worldwide campaign to challenge people’s perception of rape, help people come forward after an incident and stop it happening all together.
Detective Superintendant Steve Cullen, head of protecting vulnerable people, said they will strive for the right outcome for people who decide to report rapes and assaults.
He said: "If you have been raped, we understand that you may need time to think what to do next.
"We recognise that rape and serious sexual offences remain under-reported to the police for a range of reasons. We are committed to ensuring victims are given every opportunity to tell the police what may have happened."
Specially trained officers will take initial reports, arrange forensic medical examinations where appropriate, take statements, keep the victim updated of any developments in the case, and give support regarding the criminal justice system and or through other organisations or agencies.
According to a report by mumset.com, it is a myth that women are most likely to be raped by a stranger, outside down a dark alleyway.
It said that in reality more than 80 per cent of women who are raped know their attacker, 53 per cent of perpetrators of serious sexual assaults are current partners or ex-partners, more than 1 in 5 women who are raped were raped by their partner or ex-partner, and more than two-thirds of rapes take place in the home of the victim or suspect.
This myth can mean that women who are raped in these circumstances do not identify their experience as rape, and therefore do not report it. Rape within a relationship including marriage is no less serious than rape by a stranger.
Emma Durmaz, manager of The Glade Sexual Assault Referral Centre, said incidents of rape and assault may not be reported immediately, and can be reported anonymously, but it was important that is was reported.
She said: “The Glade SARC is open 24/7 to support anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted whether the assault has just happened or happened some time ago maybe when you were a child.
“We can offer immediate support and medical attention to check your health and well-being as well as longer term counselling and other services to help you come to terms with what has happened to you. Please do not keep it to yourself, we have helped many people and you are not on your own."
StopRapeNow posters, scratch cards, and stickers will start appearing across the region to raise awareness of the campaign as well as information on Facebook and Twitter.
Visit StopRapeNow.co.uk for more information and a list of agencies that can help.
The Worcestershire website for sexual violence worcestershiredomesticandsexualabuse.co.uk is also a useful source of information.
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