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Rape Crisis supports 2nd annual Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week
01/2/2017


Rape Crisis England & Wales and its member Centres are proud to support the second annual national Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week, which will take place between Monday 6th and Sunday 12th February 2017.

Organisers of the campaign hope the nationwide week-long series of events, hosted by local organisations, will spread the strong, clear message that any form of sexual abuse and sexual violence is unacceptable.

The Week aims to generate discussion among the general public, statutory bodies and voluntary and community sector organisations, to empower victims and survivors, and to unite us all in the acknowledgement that sexual abuse and all forms of sexual violence are 'not OK'.

Rape Crisis England & Wales Co-Chair Dawn Thomas said:

"We at Rape Crisis know, through our 40 years' experience of providing frontline specialist support services to those who've experienced sexual violence of any kind, that this campaign is as urgent and relevant today as ever.

Last year, our member Rape Crisis Centres answered 171,000 helpline calls and provided in excess of 350,000 sessions of specialist support, including advocacy and counselling, to 58,000 individuals. Need and demand for these services is at an all time high as more and more victims and survivors of sexual violence and abuse come forward to seek support and justice. The individuals we work with range in age from 3 to 93, many have experienced multiple assaults, and last year 42% of those we supported were young people and adult women who were sexually abused as children.

At the same time, specialist Rape Crisis Centres continue to face uncertainty about their futures as they expend enormous time and energy battling for the funds to sustain their life-changing services year on year.

Whether we've experienced sexual violence directly or not, it affects us all and causes untold damage to families, communities and society. We all have a responsibility to stand up - this and every week - and send the strong, loud message that it is not OK, not ever."

Campaign founder Yehudis Goldsobel said:

“We need to put this topic at the forefront of the national conversation and not be afraid of it. Only then can we address prevention and change.

 “Anyone who’s been affected by sexual abuse or sexual   violence needs to know they are not alone and that action  is being taken.   

“We also want perpetrators to know it will not be tolerated and we will all speak   up about it – the shame lies only with them.

All forms of sexual abuse and sexual violence are totally   unacceptable and we want to get this message across.”            

Individuals and organisations across the UK are getting involved both online and off, hosting their own events, campaigns, conferences, training and social media activities. All of the events, discussion points and activities can be found on the campaign's website here and follow on social media via the hashtag #ItsNotOk.          

For ideas about how to support Rape Crisis during Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week, see our Support Us page.

Follow us on Twitter @rapecrisiseandw