New North West directory launched to support sexual violence survivors

A new digital directory of services has been launched across the North West of England to help survivors of sexual violence find support.

The website features a postcode search function that allows users to find local support services.

Becky Johnston, Sexual Violence Communication and Engagement Manager and project manager for the website said: “Until now, if a survivor was to look for support online, the information can be confusing and overwhelming.

“There are loads of support organisations out there but it’s hard to know which one is specifically commissioned for the area you live in. You could contact an organisation then be referred onto another, then another – a process which when speaking to some survivors has been described as a deterrent for seeking support.

“This new website has been built in collaboration with survivors and using their feedback to improve access to services. We really hope this site makes the process easier for survivors.”

The website has been built in collaboration with North West Police and Crime Commissioners, NHS England, and Sexual Assault & Abuse Services.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Survivors of sexual violence deserve the best possible care and a vital part of that is making it quick and easy for them to access vital support services.

“This new website has been designed with the help of survivors, for survivors, to make it as clear and straightforward as possible for them to find services offering support in their area.

“During the pandemic, a lot of people have spent more time at home and have gone online to access support, so I hope this website will be an invaluable resource – ensuring anyone affected by sexual violence can access expert advice and guidance in a way and at a time that is best for them.”

The website also contains Survivor Support Packs which are downloadable resources created in collaboration with survivors. These packs provide all the information you need to know around the definitions of sexual violence crimes, information for parents/carers on supporting children or how to have open conversations at home, and a simplified 15 step summary for the ‘report to court’ process.

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual violence, you can contact the police on 101 or find your local specialist support service via the Sexual Violence Support website.

In an emergency always dial 999.

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