Local charity says: #ITSNOTOK – Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2019

By Jamie Hill - 2 February 2019


National Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 4th – 10th February is fast approaching! First Light is running and attending a series of events to highlight the support services available to people affected by sexual abuse and violence.
For event information please visit: https://www.firstlight.org.uk/itsnotok/

First Light is adding their voice to the thousands of people who are standing up to say #ITSNOTOK in support of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2019.  We support over 6000 people who are affected by domestic violence and sexual abuse each year across our services in Cornwall, Devon and Wiltshire.  We understand how difficult it can be for someone who is affected by sexual abuse or sexual violence to come forward and seek help and support, so we are raising awareness across the counties to ensure that when people are ready to come forward that they know how to access support.

In Swindon and Wiltshire First Light took over operating the Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 1st October 2018, we work in partnership with SPLITZ who are an Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Service are. To contact the Sexual Assault Referral Centre please call 01793 781 916 or visit https://www.firstlight.org.uk/make-a-referral/ or contact SPLITZ on 01793 317482.

On Wednesday 6th February as part of Sexual Violence Awareness Week we will be relaunching the Swindon and Wiltshire SARC with guest speakers from NHS England, the Police Crime Commissioner and partner agencies.

Further information about First Light visit www.firstlight.org.uk or telephone 03458 121212.  Information is also available online www.survivorpathyway.org.uk  which is an online resource for anyone wanting to know more about sexual violence support services available in the South West.

Tom Dingwall, Chief Executive of First Light said: “We believe that ending sexual abuse and violence is everybody’s business.  Stand shoulder to shoulder with us and show your support by saying #ITSNOTOK this week to raise awareness of sexual abuse and violence.”

The difference YOU can make

You can make a significant difference:

  • Raise Awareness of Sexual Violence by calling it out, talk openly about it and share the work of First Light
  • Ensure your organisation has a Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse policy
  • Support people affected by making sure they have the right support networks
  • Donate or fundraise or volunteer for us. Visit www.firstlight.org.uk or email hello@firstlight.org.uk



We invite the press to attend a morning at Gable Cross Police HQ to raise awareness of the services available in Swindon and Wiltshire and meet the staff.

Please book on via Eventbrite

For more information or to request an interview, please contact Carrina Tytheridge carrina.tytheridge@firstlight.org.uk 07771 966250 or 03458 121212

What is sexual violence?


Rape is “when a person uses their penis without consent to penetrate the vagina, mouth, or anus of another person. Legally, a person without a penis cannot commit rape, but a female may be guilty of rape if they assist a male perpetrator in an attack.”


Sexual assault is “when a person is coerced or physically forced to engage against their will, or when a person, male or female, touches another person sexually without their consent. Touching can be done with any part of the body or with an object. Sexual penetration is when a person (male or female) penetrates the vagina or anus of another person with any part of their body or an object without that person’s consent.”


About First Light

First Light is South West charity that believes in a world where everyone can live in safety, free from violence and abuse.  The charity provides domestic abuse and sexual violence support services in Cornwall, Devon and Wiltshire. 


Our services:

  • Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – Safer Futures Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Service In partnership with Barnardo’s, we are delivering a new integrated programme to provide early intervention and prevention services; expert support for people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence, and for their families; therapy; education and training. This includes our crisis response helpline where we receive agency referrals, professional enquiries and calls for people experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence in Cornwall and IoS; and our Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) who provide one-to-one practical and emotional support for people affected by domestic abuse.
  • Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Service  Our team of Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) work closely with victims of sexual violence and abuse, helping them navigate the trauma and uncertainty, and begin a process of recovery.
  • Devon – Art Therapy and Specialist Counselling We go on to help thousands of people rebuild their lives after sexual violence and abuse through specialist counselling and therapy. This includes children and young people for whom we offer an art therapy service.
  • Swindon & Wiltshire – Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) This is a special facility in Swindon that covers Swindon and Wiltshire, where recent victims of rape or sexual assault can receive immediate help and support, including access to a forensic medical examination and the opportunity to speak to the Police if the client wishes to do so.

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