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Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence is never OK - #ITSNOTOK

Sexual Abuse Awareness Week

Sexual abuse and sexual violence is never OK. We want to assure people that services are there for anyone who has ever experienced this, no matter when it happened.

Services in Sheffield have remained active throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Referrals are still being taken and support is still being offered.

The pandemic is a particularly difficult and stressful time for everyone but especially for those that may be experiencing abuse from someone they know, their partner or someone in their family or household. This is because for most people it will mean that they are spending more time at home, more time close to the person causing harm, they are more isolated or they have less family and social support than usual.

#ITSNOTOK reminds everyone that there is no excuse for sexual abuse and that those who are experiencing it should seek assistance to help them.

George Lindars-Hammond, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said:

“It’s never OK to harm anyone by abusing them in any way. Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual activity of any kind. No-one should ever feel forced into anything. Everyone has the right to feel safe and protected and if you feel at risk or uncomfortable about anything you can make a phone call and talk with a person trained to help on matters like this. They will help and support you and listen to what you tell them so that they can give you the best possible advice. Don’t suffer or feel upset on your own, there are people who can help if you ask them.”

There are a number of organisations that can give you help, advice and guidance.

If you have been raped, assaulted or abused Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) which is called Hackenthorpe Lodge can provide forensic examination and crisis support. It supports people aged 16 years and over of all genders in South Yorkshire. You do not have to report the attack to the police to use this service. Their contact number is 0330 223 3193, weekdays 9am to 5pm, and there is a 24 hours, 7 days per week, helpline on 0330 223 0099.

Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (SRASAC) works to support recovery from the emotional and psychological distress caused by trauma from rape, sexual violence or sexual abuse/exploitation. You can contact them on 07517 100 757 Monday to Tuesday 3.00pm to 5.00 pm and Wednesday to Friday 9am to 11 am. The service is for people of all genders. You can refer yourself for all services at https://srasac.org.uk/make-a-referral  where there is also lots of useful information and advice.

Young Women’s Housing Project (YWHP) is a housing and support service for young women aged 16 to 25 who have been affected by sexual abuse, exploitation or sexual/domestic violence.  Their contact number is 0114 2680580 or you can email ywhp@ywhp.org.uk.

The National Rape Crisis Helpline is 0808 802 9999 which is open 12 noon to 14:30pm and 7pm to 9:30pm Monday to Friday.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or on 999.