Victims of sexual assault deserve support, says Cambridgeshire’s police and crime commissioner

The Elms Sexual Referral Unit supports vicitms of sexual violence in Huntingdon. People are asked to

The Elms Sexual Referral Unit supports vicitms of sexual violence in Huntingdon. People are asked to call ahead so staff know you are on your way. - Credit: Archant

Victims of sexual violence need to know where to turn for support where they will be believed, says a campaign, launched to raise awareness of services available across Cambridgeshire.

To mark Sexual Violence Awareness Week, (February 4-11), Jason Ablewhite, Police and Crime Commissioner, is launching a county wide campaign to tie in with #itsnotok.

Organisations across the county will be pledging their support.

Mr Ablewhite said: “People who find themselves survivors of sexual violence deserve a blanket of love and care whether they report the crime to the police or not.

“The effects can be devastating and it is vital people know where to turn to for support. They need to know they will be believed and that action can be taken against perpetrators.

“By supporting #itsnotok we can all encourage those affected by this devastating crime to seek support.”

Laura Koscikiewicz, detective superintendent from Cambridgeshire Police, said: “We work closely with a number of partner agencies who endeavour to help victims of sexual violence throughout the county.

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“If you are a victim of sexual violence then I would urge you to come forward to police. We are here to support you.”

Services available include:

• Victim and Witness Hub which offers free, confidential support to victims and witnesses of crime.

• The Elms, a sexual assault referral centre, which offers survivors a safe place to receive support, medical aftercare, forensic examinations, and to anonymously report assaults.

• Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership (CAPRCP) which offer free counselling, face-to-face emotional support, pre-trial therapy, a telephone helpline, email support services and group work.

• For 13 to 19 year olds (or 24 with additional needs), therapeutic support is available from counselling service ‘Time4U’.