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#ItsNotOk, Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week #LightUptheNight

Raising awareness of sexual abuse and sexual violence will be the focus of a week-long campaign in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland this week.

The awareness week, which will have a series of videos as its focal point, runs until 11th February.

The week is particularly aimed at faith groups, men and women aged over-55s, two groups where it is known there is under-reporting of alleged incidents. People can show their support by using #IItsNotOK on social media.

The campaign is being backed by Leicestershire Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council and District and Borough councils.

On Monday evening, 5 February, you are invited to ‘Light Up the Night’ with The Mandala Project and De Montfort University, who will be walking from the Mill Lane Bridge to the Town Hall to make people aware of the campaign. The procession will be leaving Mill Lane Bridge, at 6pm. The Town Hall will be specially lit up for the night. Wear glowsticks and take a torch. If you are not in the City Centre, Harborough District Community Safety Partnership will be lighting up the Old Grammar School in Market Harborough, at dusk, so take along your glow sticks and torches there . Take plenty of photos and tag us in @UAVALtd and #ItsNotOK. Light Up the Night will be happening nationally and will be taking place at city centres around the UK.

Along with UAVA, the other group involved in the campaign is Victim First, as we are the local providers of domestic abuse and sexual violence services.

The group will be hosting a number of FaceBook live videos throughout the week aimed to highlight why those in under reported groups, and all victims of sexual abuse, should seek help.

Ivan Ould, the county council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “The videos produced will feature across the awareness week to raise important issues for victims to consider.

“Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have a number of groups able to offer help in a variety of ways. So, if you’ve been a victim of abuse, know life can get better and support is available.”

Millicent Gant, Manager of SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre), added: “We’re really happy to be supporting and contributing to this week-long campaign. Sexual abuse and sexual violence are both sensitive topics and we hope the awareness week will encourage conversation about these difficult subjects.

“By recognising these under reported groups through a series of videos, we hope that anyone who has been affected by sexual abuse or sexual violence understands how they can report these issues and know they are not alone.”

Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach said: “I wholeheartedly back this awareness campaign and the positive partnership work taking place in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to build trust and confidence among vulnerable victims of sexual violence. There is a wealth of specialist services available providing emotional and practical help for victims and survivors whether they have reported their experiences to police or not.

“Sexual violence remains a largely hidden crime and we’re doing everything possible to change this by expanding and developing our response to victims and by reaching out to those who are additionally isolated through language, gender, cultural or familial barriers. This campaign will continue to raise awareness of these vital avenues of help.” Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach said: “I wholeheartedly back this awareness campaign and the positive partnership work taking place in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to build trust and confidence among vulnerable victims of sexual violence. There is a wealth of specialist services available providing emotional and practical help for victims and survivors whether they have reported their experiences to police or not.

“Sexual violence remains a largely hidden crime and we’re doing everything possible to change this by expanding and developing our response to victims and by reaching out to those who are additionally isolated through language, gender, cultural or familial barriers. This campaign will continue to raise awareness of these vital avenues of help.”

 

Support is available from UAVA on 0808 80 200 28, www.uava.org.uk or Victim First on 0800 953 9595 – www.victimfirst.org


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