North West Sexual Violence Awareness Week


This week, organisations across the North West are coming together to raise awareness of sexual violence and the support services available to survivors.

The initiative, led by North West Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), police services, and sexual assault and abuse services, will take place from 3-10 November 2022.

It is estimated that 3.8% of adults aged 16 to 74 years (1.6 million) have experienced sexual assault by rape or penetration (including attempts) since the age of 16 years.

Yet, only around 15% of those who experience sexual violence report to the police.

Police Crime Commissioners, police forces, local authorities, and NHS England all fund sexual violence support services.

These services may vary across localities but together they aim to offer the same level of care no matter where a survivor lives.

From specialist forensic and medical sites called Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) to aftercare provisions like counselling, group therapy and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs), these services aim to work in unison to give every victim of sexual violence the support they need.

Across Merseyside, support is available to all victims and survivors no matter when the incident or whether an incident was reported to the police or not, by Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (RASA) Merseyside and Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) Cheshire and Merseyside, who are both commissioned by the Police Commissioner.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Survivors of sexual violence deserve the best possible care and support, no matter whether report it to the police or not or how long ago the crime took place.

"North West Sexual Violence Awareness Week is an important opportunity to raise awareness of all the support which is available if you've been affected by sexual violence.

"I'm proud to commission two fantastic local support services to provide a service across our entire region for all victims and survivors of sexual violence.

"RASA Merseyside and RASASC Cheshire and Merseyside will listen to you, they will believe you and they are there to help. If you need support, please reach out. "

If you live in Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral, please contact RASA Merseyside who are available on 0151 558 1801.

In St Helens and Knowsley, please contact RASASC Cheshire and Merseyside on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063.

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual violence you can contact the police direct on 101. In an emergency, always call 999.