Police launch new survey to help better sexual violence support for women

Police have seen a slight fall in child sex abuse crimes following a 34% rise between March 2018 and

Suffolk police have launched a survey to help improve support given to sexual abuse victims - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A new survey into the effects of sexual violence has been launched by Suffolk police in a bid to improve victim support.

The online survey aims to help the force gain a better understanding of the experience of women and girls in the county, as part of a broader project to improve response and service to such crimes.

The short questionnaire will be open to all women in Suffolk aged over 18 and hopes to ensure those who have suffered abuse at any age and in any setting are able to discuss their experiences. It is also hoped it will better support offered to under-represented groups.

It is completely confidential and anonymous, and is open to those who have suffered from crimes including sexual assault, voyeurism, exposure and upskirting.

Overall, it is aimed to ensure Suffolk becomes a safer space for women and girls.

Temporary Chief Superintendent Marina Ericson, County Policing Commander, has warned those planning

Chief superintendent Marina Ericson - Credit: Archant

Chief superintendent Marina Ericson said tackling violence against women and girls is a priority for the force.

Ch Supt Ericson said: "We want to hear from women and girls; to listen to their voices and their experiences.

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"By understanding more about the scale and nature of sexual crimes that take place, especially behind closed doors, we can look to improve our response and support for women and girls.

"Police take all reports of this nature extremely seriously and will do everything we can to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice whilst signposting victims to the agencies that can be of greatest help in times of need.”

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner (PCC), Tim Passmore, said he encourages women to complete the survey and help make a real difference.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Tim Passmore, Suffolk's police and crime commissioner - Credit: Archant

Mr Passmore said: "Supporting victims of violence against women and girls is an important part of my role as PCC and my office provides funding for Survivors in Transition, Suffolk Rape Crisis and Fresh Start new beginnings to provide support to victims of these terrible crimes.

"Sadly, many of these crimes take place behind closed doors, hidden from public view making it difficult to appreciate the magnitude of the issue. 

"This online survey will help the constabulary understand the reasons why some victims do not report these violent crimes and it will also help police to better focus its engagement with charities and women’s organisations to help prevent these crimes and improve support for victims, which is excellent news."

The survey will be available via the constabulary's Twitter and Facebook accounts from May 19 until Sunday, June 6. It can also be accessed here.

Anyone who would like to speak to someone in confidence about sexual abuse or violence can contact Suffolk police on 101, or staff at The Ferns on 0300 1235058 or via contact@theferns-suffolk.org.uk.

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