North West Sexual Violence Awareness Week aims to raise awareness of sexual violence and the support services available to survivors. It takes place from 8-14 November 2021.
The phrase sexual violence is an umbrella term that refers to crimes like sexual abuse and assault. It refers to any unwanted sexual act or activity such as rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual harassment etc.
Statistics show that there is an increase in sexual offences but the number of people reporting or seeking support is very low in comparison. There can be several reasons as to why a survivor chooses not to speak out, such as fear of not being believed, not knowing where to go etc. All of these feelings are normal.
This awareness week aims to reassure survivors, and anyone supporting them, that they will be listened to and how they can access support. Whether you choose to report to the police or not is your choice. Regardless, you can still access free counselling, support and even have a forensic medical so that evidence can be collected if ever it’s needed.
This campaign targets all demographics across the North West and will run across various outputs such as radio, print, social media, PR and digital. Particular activity will be aimed at ethnic minority groups, men, young people and LGBTQ+ groups as these are significantly under-represented.
Throughout the week (8-14 November 2021), each county within the North West is hosting a dedicated event/activity within their communities. Supported by North West Police Crime Commissioners, NHS England, and Sexual Assault & Abuse Services, these events will highlight the support services available, and empower survivors to speak out.