Town hall will turn purple to encourage victims of sexual violence to speak out
PUBLISHED: 16:55 01 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:55 01 February 2020
Ipswich Town Hall will be lit up purple next week to back a campaign encouraging victims of sexual violence to speak out.
Organisations in Suffolk came together to launch the fifth national Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, which begins on Monday, with the message #itsnotok.
Fiona Ellis, chief executive of support centre Survivors in Transition (SiT), said she wants to highlight the message that "no form of sexual violence will be tolerated" in Suffolk.
She said: "I think the week is very important because although we've come a really long way, in terms of general perception of sexual violence, what it means, what people go through, ceasing victim blaming, I still feel there's people out there who don't know enough about the services and don't know how to engage with services.
"We're really trying to target younger people to get them to know more about the services, to know where blame lies in terms of sexual violence, and the really strong message around 'it's not ok' - that no form of sexual violence will be tolerated in Suffolk."
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Ipswich deputy mayor Jane Riley joined representatives from SiT, Suffolk Rape Crisis, Fresh Start New Beginnings, The Ferns, Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care, Wassup, Terence Higgins Trust, Restitute, and Suffolk County Council on Friday to launch the week.
Suffolk Constabulary is also backing the campaign, and county police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore also attended the launch event.
Ipswich Town Hall will remain purple all week to mark the national week of action, and people can engage with events and activites by using the hashtag #itsnotok.
Detective Superintendent Dave Henderson, from the Crime, Safeguarding and Investigation Directorate, said: "This national campaign which we are proud to support is vital in encouraging victims of sexual abuse and violence to speak out.
"It helps reassure victims that any allegation will be fully investigated and we have dedicated specially trained officers who work with the victims of rape and sexual assault.
"The Constabulary and its partners are committed to delivering excellent services to victims of serious sexual offences."