Support services join together to mark Sexual Abuse and Violence Week

A counselling room at Survivors in Transition

A counselling room at Survivors in Transition - Credit: Archant

Help and support services across Suffolk came together in Ipswich yesterday to help raise awareness for Sexual Abuse and Violence Awareness Week.

Held at Survivors in Transition (SiT), which helps adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, the gathering featured representatives from Fresh Start New Beginnings, Suffolk Refugee Support and The Ferns Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).

The day allowed people to find out more about what services are available for people who have suffered from violence or sexual abuse, how to volunteer, and why it is important to seek help.

Fiona Ellis, operations director at SiT, said: “We welcome this week with open arms because it is really important to bring everyone together and we all have a common theme.

“We have seen a lot of people come through our doors so we need to make sure the services are in place.”

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Abuse victims were able to find out more about accessing counselling and mental health services, reporting crimes to police, and treatment plans available to them, for a range of issues including childhood sexual abuse, violence and female genital mutilation.

The week, which is the first of its kind to be launched nationally, aims to help get people talking about sexual abuse, and allow people to know where to go for help.

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Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, who has backed the week, said: “We have come a long way in the last few years of being able to talk about sexual abuse and sexual violence. However, we still don’t talk about either enough and I agree with the partners of this project that that’s simply not ok.

“I commend all four of them – Survivors in Transition, Fresh Start New Beginnings, The Ferns and Suffolk Rape Crisis for the work they do with very vulnerable people helping to rebuild lives.”

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore added: “Through my PCC grant I have been able to help Survivors in Transition strengthen and widen their work with victims across the county.

“These grants give organisations working with victims, such as Survivors in Transition, desperately needed finances to support their valuable work.

“I have seen at first-hand how this fantastic organisation has helped victims right across the county and have been greatly touched by the experience.”

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