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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Drive for sex assault referral centre in Cumbria

A PARTNERSHIP was launched today setting out the vision for services to support victims of sexual assault in Cumbria.

The partnership is aiming to be able to establish a sexual assault referral centre in Cumbria during 2015, as victims have to travel outside the county now.

The initiative has been led by police and crime commissioner Richard Rhodes in conjunction with NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group’s clinical director for children and families, Dr Neela Shabde, NHS England, Cumbria police and Cumbria County Council.

Mr Rhodes said he became aware that the support available to victims of sexual assault was inconsistent and that victims were having to travel out of Cumbria to access a referral centre which provides the forensic assessment, and that other support, including counselling and health care, was often disjointed or not provided at all.

Mr Rhodes commissioned an independent review of services and he said the message was clear from victims and statutory agencies that more needs to be done in the county to support victims of sexual assault.

He said: “The vision for the initiative is clear. We want the people of Cumbria to have the confidence to come forward and report sexual violence and it is only by us all working together will we tackle this type of crime and behaviour.

“This includes people that need support but may not want to report the crime to the police.

“We are going to deliver the vision by establishing dedicated multi-agency support to victims of sexual violence from children, young people to adults.”

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