Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness WeekPublished Friday, 3rd February 2017
A range of events including a women only comedy night are being held in Rotherham next week by a local charity to spread the message that any form of sexual abuse and violence is unacceptable.
Next week is the second ever national Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week (running from February 6-12). The theme of the week is We don’t talk abuse enough. That’s not ok.
Rotherham Rise, which offers support for victims and survivors of abuse, will be hosting a number of free informative events from Monday (February 6th) at their Women’s Centre, Main Street, Rotherham.
These include speakers talking about sexual abuse and violence, a women’s comedy night and the launch of the charity’s feminist book club.
The programme of events over the week aims to generate discussion about sexual abuse and violence.
Organisations from across the country will also be hosting their own events and campaigns as part of the awareness raising week. It has been established nationally to give an opportunity for the public, statutory and third sector organisations to participate in a discussion about sexual abuse and sexual violence.
Sue Wynne from Rotherham Rise said: “Anyone who’s been affected by sexual abuse or sexual violence need to know they are not alone and that action is being taken. It is a sensitive topic but it is important to have these conversations, and raise awareness.
“That is why we have organised people to come and talk about these issues and we welcome anyone who wants to come and learn more. But we also want to make sure women can feel comfortable talking about the issues that affect them, which is why we have also organised a women only comedy night. Our new book club will also help bring women together through the use of literature.”
Temporary Detective Inspector Richard Wallis, who will be speaking at one of the Rotherham Rise events on Monday, said: “It’s vitally important that we raise awareness about sexual abuse and sexual violence across South Yorkshire.
“These horrendous crimes can affect both women and men of all ages, from children right up to adulthood, and our role is to encourage people to come forward and report these crimes to us.
“We have an absolute duty of care towards these people, and any report made to South Yorkshire Police will be taken extremely seriously and thoroughly investigated.
“I know that sometimes people reporting abuse may not feel comfortable coming to police in the first instance, but please know that there are other agencies you can talk to, who will then come to us.
“I’d encourage anyone to report an incident of abuse, there is help available and you don’t have to suffer in silence. We will do everything we can to help you, to protect you, and to bring the perpetrators of these atrocious crimes to justice.”
Anne-Marie Lubanski, Director of Adult Social Care at Rotherham Council added: “All forms of sexual abuse and sexual violence are totally unacceptable and we welcome Rotherham Rise helping to get this message across.
“We also want perpetrators to know it will not be tolerated and they will face prosecution.”
Anyone wanting to report sexual violence or abuse can call the options below.