Cheshire centre supporting rape and sexual assault victims provides help for all ages Date published: 22nd September 2015 11.06am

Victims of sexual abuse need specialist dedicated help and support, whatever their age.  In Cheshire, an alliance of funding partners, including the Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer, has commissioned a new service for all victims of rape and sexual assault. The contract was awarded to the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) and provides, for the first time, an ageless support service for victims.

As part of this, a new support centre based in Macclesfield will give young victims the help they need in surroundings which are more appropriate to their needs.

RASASC now has a specialist child friendly support room and staff who are specialised in supporting young victims. So now everyone who comes through the door of RASAC will be able to get the specialised help they need to support them through very difficult times.

There is also space for larger meetings, such as survivor support groups so that more services are available under one roof.

Julie Evans Operations Manager for RASASC Cheshire & Merseyside said: “We are delighted to have secured larger premises for our services in Macclesfield. We have seen an increase in referrals as more and more people are feeling able to report their experience of sexual violence and this new centre will give us the space to support more service users.  In addition our service is now open to children as well as adults and we are now able to offer rooms that are more child friendly.”

Hannah Sadler, Children and Young Persons Independent Sexual Violence Advisor at the centre said: “I feel it is absolutely vital that Children and Young People are offered support in their local areas from our specialised service. Along with our child friendly offices, I also have access to local children’s centres to ensure that service users are not having to travel in any great length to access the support and advice they are entitled to.

“Along with ensuring that children feel as prepared as they possibly can be throughout the Criminal Justice Process, it is also incredibly important that children feel believed, listened to, and that they know support is available to them when they need it.”

Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer, officially opened the centre. He said: “I am committed to ensuring that victims of crime are at the heart of policing in Cheshire and this centre will help to give victims young and old the support they really need. 

“Being a victim of any kind of crime can be frightening and upsetting. However, rape and sexual assault are particularly distressing crimes for the victim and the effects can last for a long time. They require specialised support to help victims cope and to work through to recovery.

“It is critical that victims receive high quality support to help them cope and recover from their ordeal.”