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'It's Not OK' Campaign Highlights Victim Support

With only around one in six sexual offences reported to police, a campaign is aiming to encourage victims to come forward.

More than 130 sexual offences are reported to Jersey Police every year, but it's feared many more go unreported.

National statistics suggest fewer than one in six people report sexual abuse and violence to police.

A campaign is running for Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week (6-12 February) to reach anyone who might need help.

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre at Dewberry House is an independent agency that proves support to survivors of sexual abuse.

Service manager Laura Osmand says that means people can still get help,with out involving officers.

"We work very closely with the police if the victim chooses to do so, but our service also allows people access without reporting, so that their health needs can be met and (they can) get therapeutic services if they need that."

Laura believes that the islands small community could be barrier to some people talking about what they have experienced.

"There are people that chose not to report for a number of reasons, but it's down to the survivors journey and what they want to do.

They might not want to report straight away, but working with the services at SARC we want to empower them to make the informed choices when they're ready." 

Acting Superintendent Craig Jackson says that when people do decide to report the crime, they will be listened to.

"“It takes a lot of courage for a victim of sexual abuse or violence to come forward and report it, whether that be to police or another agency. Our message is clear, we are here to help you, support you, and make sure you have all the care you need."

Dewberry House can be contacted in confidence on (01534) 888555.

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