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‘Don’t suffer in silence’: How to get help if you’re suffering sexual violence

Police in Wales are committed to working together with partner agencies to protect those affected by sexual violence or abuse, and to pursue and hold offenders to account for their actions.

South Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Danny Richards, Wales Policing Lead forVulnerability and Safeguarding, said

“Sexual violence and abuse is unacceptable in any situation at any time.

“If anyone in our communities is suffering, or feels that they are at risk of, sexual violence or abuse it is important that they know that there is help and support available during the Covid-19 crisis.

“No one should feel unsafe in their home or community – we are here and we will help. Our specially trained officers will work with the individual, and their local Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), to provide the appropriate care and support.

“We would also encourage anyone who is struggling with their mental health as a result of having survived sexual violence or abuse to come forward.

“Please do not suffer in silence. You are not alone.”

Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) provide specialist medical and forensic services and support for anyone – women, men, young people and children – who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

Sarah Thomas, Manager, New Pathways said

“SARCs are a safe place, where police interviews and forensic examinations can be undertaken privately.

“Our specialist staff are trained to help survivors regardless of when or where the incident happened, and they will support the individual to make informed decisions about what they want to do next.

“We also offer access to sexual health and counselling services, and you do not have to make a report to the police to receive our support. You can contact your local SARC directly for free, independent advice and guidance.”

SARCs remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, with services provided in person or remotely, over the phone or via video conference, depending on a person’s needs.

Local Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs):

The confidential Live Fear Free helpline can also provide help and support for those experiencing or know someone experiencing sexual violence or abuse. Specially trained advisors can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by phone, text or via web chat.

If you suspect that someone in your family or community is experiencing sexual violence or abuse now, please report it to the police. Call 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Further information online from Welsh Government on sexual violence and abuse, and how to access support during the Covid-19 crisis.