Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, is joining other Commissioners, NHS England, Sexual Assault and Abuse Services and local community organisations, who are all coming together to raise awareness of sexual violence.
The region will see monuments and key buildings lit up in purple, with different counties hosting a range of activities on an individual day.
On Friday 12 November, the spotlight will be shone on Cheshire. Events planned for the day include a Q&A session from 11am – 12pm to be held by Cheshire Police and support agencies, and an event at Chester University’s Exton Park Campus from 12pm – 3pm providing information around sexual violence and support that is available. At the event there will be safe spaces for people to speak in confidence about any issues they have seen or experienced. To round the day off there will be a moment of reflection and remembrance in the form of a vigil at The Cross in Chester
John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: “Nationally, sexual violence is an under-reported crime so I’m glad to see the police and other organisations come together to highlight the support available to victims.
“It’s my job as Police and Crime Commissioner to highlight this support too, and it is my responsibility to provide funding for victim services. My office, along with NHS England and the four local authorities jointly commission victim services including the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) that helps victims throughout the recovery process.
The North West Sexual Violence awareness week has a number of set objectives, including:
- To increase public insight and information on sexual violence and the support services available to survivors across the North West
- To raise awareness of sexual violence and what it is across the North West
- To raise awareness of the services available to sexual violence victims within the North West
- To make the information on sexual violence services easily accessible and concise
- To educate communities of their choices when it comes to disclosing sexual violence. For example, if a survivor chooses not to report they can still receive specialist counselling or a forensic medical examination.
- To promote the inclusivity of the support services – they are there for you regardless of age, gender, ethnicity etc
John Dwyer added: “In my Police and Crime Plan, I committed to providing more community-based support for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence through Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVAs) and Independent Sexual Violence Advocates (ISVAs) schemes.
“Rape and sexual violence can affect anyone, and it’s vital that survivors know there are services out there who can support them as they process their ordeal. I hope this week of awareness has spread the message, not just across Cheshire but across the region of the services and support available to survivors.”
Get involved and follow the conversation online #NWSVweek.
Find out more information about support services online.