South West charity says: #ITSNOTOK – Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2018
A charity in Cornwall and Plymouth that supports victims of rape and sexual abuse is calling for people to bravely report incidents they have experienced.
First Light is holding a series of events during Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week – 5 to 11 February to highlight support services available in the region.
For a list of events please visit: https://www.firstlight.org.uk/itsnotok/
The charity – which supports thousands of victims of sexual violence each year; women, men and children – is supporting a national campaign #ITSNOTOK.
It follows a UK-wide rise in awareness and reporting of rape and sexual abuse, building on the high profile #MeToo media exposure and hard-hitting television documentaries.
First Light’s Chief Executive, Tom Dingwall, said: “The world is changing. Great initiatives like #MeToo and documentaries like ‘Three Girls’, ‘Breaking the Silence’, and ‘Broadchurch’ have shed light on Sexual Violence; so much has been done.
“At the same time, women, men, boys and girls are still raped or sexually assaulted in Plymouth and Cornwall. Together, we can stop it. Join us by saying #ITSNOTOK.”
First Light is offering people the opportunity to self-refer: report an incident through their Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC) in Truro or Plymouth, without going through the police. You can do this any time after the assault has occurred.
For advice and support, please contact First Light in Cornwall on 01872 272059 or Plymouth 03458 121212 or go to https://www.firstlight.org.uk
First Light Sexual Violence Service Manager’s Cath Curno and Sharon Minty, said: “We hope to reach as many people working and living in the community as possible to raise awareness and enable people to come forward and access the most appropriate service for them at a time when they most need it.
“We offer an independent service without the victim having to involve the police, and provide them with support so they can make informed decisions.
“We are appointing a dedicated self-referral crisis worker to cover 5 days a week across Plymouth and Cornwall SARCs, this is an increase on our current provision which currently covers weekends only.”
People in the community can get involved by sharing our stories on social media with the hashtag #ITSNOTOK, by fundraising for us, spreading the message about Sexual Violence or by getting involved in any of these activities:
The difference YOU can make
You can make a significant difference. Here are some ideas how you can help:
- Raise awareness of Sexual Violence by calling it out, talking openly about it and by sharing the work of First Light
- Regularly donate or fundraise for us. See https://www.firstlight.org.uk/donate email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03458 121212
- Support people affected by making sure they have the right support networks, by making online or telephone referrals to us, or calling us for professional advice
26 January 2018
NOTE TO EDITORS
For more information or to request an interview, please contact Carrina Tytheridge email@example.com 07771 607132 or 01872 272059
Rachel Picken, PR consultant to First Light, 07989 695522, firstname.lastname@example.org
Affected by sexual violence?
If you are affected by sexual violence and need support, please contact First Light in Cornwall on 01872 272059 or Plymouth 03458 121212, visit https://www.firstlight.org.uk, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.
What is sexual violence?
Rape is “when a person uses their penis without consent to penetrate the vagina, mouth, or anus of another person. Legally, a person without a penis cannot commit rape, but a female may be guilty of rape if they assist a male perpetrator in an attack.”
Sexual assault is “when a person is coerced or physically forced to engage against their will, or when a person, male or female, touches another person sexually without their consent. Touching can be done with any part of the body or with an object. Sexual penetration is when a person (male or female) penetrates the vagina or anus of another person with any part of their body or an object without that person’s consent.”
About First Light
First Light is an award-winning charity that believes in a world where everyone can live in safety, free from violence and abuse. The charity provides exceptional domestic abuse and sexual violence support services in Plymouth and Cornwall. Recognising a shared vision, mission and values, First Light was formed in April 2017 following the merger of Twelves Company (formed in 1997) and Skoodhya (formed in 2012) under the banner Stronger Together.
The organisation delivers:
- Plymouth and Cornwall’s Sexual Violence Services (Sexual Assault Referral Centres and Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Services)
- Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Domestic Abuse Service (Independent Domestic Violence Advisory Service and the Risk Evaluation and Coordination Hub)
- Plymouth’s Sexual Violence Counselling and Art Therapy Service
- Education and Training courses throughout Devon and Cornwall
Comprising of some 60 staff and volunteers, the organisation supports thousands of victims and survivors of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence each year and is in the process of launching its fundraising portfolio.