Sex abuse victims encouraged to seek support

PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 February 2017

Victims of sexual violence ncouraged to access support.

Victims of sexual violence ncouraged to access support.

Archant

Victims of sexual abuse and violence are being encouraged to talk about their experiences so they can access the support they need.

Avon and Somerset police is supporting sexual abuse and sexual violence awareness week and urging victims to seek help.

The constabulary receives an average of three reports of rape each day. About 87 per cent of the victims are female – 15 per cent of which are aged 16 and under.

There has also been a 38 per cent increase in male victims since 2014 – 21 per cent of these are 16 or younger.

Figures show an estimated 15 per cent of people who experience sexual violence report it to the police, so the constabulary is just urging victims to talk to someone.

Superintendent Marie Wright said: “In many cases rape and sexual assault is committed by someone the victim knows, which makes it very hard to talk about and is one reason it remains under-reported.

“We understand victims might not want to talk to us but we urge anyone who has been a victim to tell someone; there are some fantastic support services available.”

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