Rape and sexual assault happen far more often than statistics indicate. It happens in all communities and cultures. Many victims do not seek help because they feel ashamed or afraid of being blamed for what has happened.
We have nine Independent Sexual Violence Advisors, all trained in line with Home Office Guidance. Five for adults and three for children and young people and one peer support worker all who offer confidential advice and practical and emotional support including a safe place to talk, access to counselling, support attending Sexual Health Services and help with medical attention. They provide support for anyone (women, men, children) who has been the victim of rape and sexual abuse across the whole of Avon and Somerset area. They also can help with supporting the family and practical problems such as help with housing, benefits, and employers.
If the victim wants to report to the police they can give support with making a statement, assist with claims for compensation and give support before, during and after the court process. The victim does not have to report to the police to access the service and the rape or sexual assault can have happened recently or in the past.