Wiltshire Police is encouraging people to stand up and say #ItsNotOk in support of National Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week which kicked off yesterday.
The national campaign was established five years ago and aims to raise awareness of sex abuse and violence, while the hashtag encourages the public to take part in discussions around the subject.
All week we’ll be raising awareness of rape and sexual assault alongside our partner agencies as well as urging anyone who has been affected to come forward and seek help and support.
Supt Sarah Robbins said: “We take all reports of sex assault extremely seriously and while I fully understand just how difficult and daunting it may be for a victim to come forward and take that first step in reporting their ordeal to police, please be reassured that we will provide you with support throughout the process and we will conduct extremely thorough investigations to ensure offenders are put before the courts and justice is served.
“For some people, who have already been through an extremely traumatic ordeal at the hands of their abuser, they just don’t want to engage with police for whatever reason, and we do recognise this. That is why this week we will also be highlighting the many other support agencies available who can help you if you would prefer.”
Angus Macpherson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “I am really pleased to be supporting this national awareness week – sex abuse and violence has no place in our society and it is crucial that we continue to talk about it and highlight that it is just simply not ok to ever blame the victim.
“It is one of my priorities to protect the most vulnerable people in society and I feel very strongly that victims of sexual offences receive the utmost support and protection. I am proud to have set up Horizon – our victim and witness care service which can signpost people to a number of agencies or charities who can provide specialist support to those in need.”
For more information: Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) can be contacted on the 24-hour helpline 0808 168 0024.
For children the NSPCC can also be contacted on 0808 800 5000.
To report sexual abuse please phone police on 101 or, if you wish to remain anonymous, via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always call 999.