National Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week starts today, Monday 5th February 2018 and aims to start conversations and raise awareness around this type of crime. SoJP are supporting this national campaign by way of social media and we hope to highlight and sign post issues relating to this subject throughout the week using #itsnotok.
In 2017, the States of Jersey Police dealt with 186 sexual offences both recent and non-recent and while we have seen a greater confidence in reporting incidents of this type, we are certain that it is still under reported.
We take a multi-agency approach when dealing with sexual offending, working closely with key stakeholders such as Jersey Action Against Rape (JAAR), Jersey Domestic Abuse Support (JDAS), Brooke, Jersey Women’s Refuge and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). We also work alongside PMNW to offer education packages to schools on this subject matter.
Dewberry House, Jersey’s first Sexual Assault Referral Centre, (SARC) opened in May 2017, and so far has responded to 54 victims of sexual assault. The SARC not only supports the work of SoJP when investigating sexual offences, it also provides twenty four hour medical care to victims alongside emotional and practical support to men, women and children who have experienced sexual assault.
Following a rape or sexual assault where the victim wishes for no police involvement the SARC provides the medical examination, keeping the forensic evidence for up to two years, so that if at any time a victim decides to talk to police, this can be arranged.
Chief Inspector Alison Fossey said: “Sexual abuse and violence is something that can affect anyone of any age, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity or religion and can have a long-term devastating effect on the victims. I hope that this week of awareness will reassure victims that we are committed to investigating these incidents and bringing offenders before the courts. We take all instances of sexual abuse and sexual violence very seriously and we hope be that by supporting the UK campaign, we can help to raise awareness locally about this matter and signpost the other agencies that are available to victims of this type of abuse.”
The SARC’s website is www.dewberryhouse.je and it offers detailed information to victims about the services and the support that they offer.
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