A new 16 week campaign began on 13 December 2021 to raise awareness of the support services across Coventry and Warwickshire for sexual assault and abuse.
Following on from this year’s successful 16 Days of Action campaign, 16 Weeks of Action will highlight the support links available to the Violence Against Women and Girls agenda in both Coventry and Warwickshire. The campaign will run until 28 March 2022 and can be found using #16weeksofaction.
COVID-19 has been challenging for all of us but it has posed extra difficulties and risks for those who are living with domestic abuse and sexual violence. Staying indoors has proved difficult for people whose home is not the haven it should be and ultimately, enforced isolation may increase abusive behaviour and limit the access to help and support by victims. Isolation is one of the tools perpetrators use as a tool of coercive and controlling behaviour to shut down victims’ routes to safety.
Cllr Pervez Akhtar, Deputy Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities, said: “Supporting victims and preventing sexual assault & abuse in all forms is a priority for the city, I am pleased to support this campaign across Coventry and Warwickshire to promote the help and support available for victims and survivors.”
Over the course of the 16 weeks, each of the local support services will take a lead on promoting what they do to get messages out to local communities. This includes Coventry City Council, Warwickshire Council Council, West Midlands Police and Warwickshire Police, Coventry Haven, Valley House, Panahghar, Safeline and CRASAC.
Coventry and Warwickshire have been collaborating to improve access to services for victims and survivors of sexual assault and abuse following the NHS Strategic Direction for Sexual Assault and Abuse Services published in 2018.
Caroline Ryder, Programme Manager for Violence Prevention in Public Health said: “We need to get the message out that help is available. We want everyone to feel confident to come forward and report crime, but understand that for some, there are barriers to reporting. You don’t have to report to access help and support though.”
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, it is important to speak to someone about the assault as soon as possible in order to get support. The Blue-Sky Centre offers free & confidential advice about next steps. They can be contacted on 0800 970 0370 or visit the website www.blueskycentre.org.uk
Follow and repost #16weeksofaction to spread the word and raise awareness.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault or abuse in Coventry or Warwickshire, contact the Police on 101 or if you don’t want to report to the Police you can contact Blue Sky Centre on 01926 507805 24/7 365 days per year.
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse in the past and you live in Coventry then contact CRASAC Helpline on 024 7627 7777 for advice- Monday to Friday 10am – 2pm, Monday and Thursday 6pm-8pm.
Safe2Talk helpline is also available Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.30pm and Saturday to Sunday, 10am – 1pm. For support call 0800 111 4998 an online chat function is also available.