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Rape and Sexual Assault

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Sex without consent is rape and anything less than a yes is a no.

There are many misconceptions around the serious crime of sexual assault and rape. Our message is that whatever the circumstances, anything less than a yes is a no. Victims often blame themselves, but the fact is that abuse is never okay and it is not the victim's fault, no matter what the circumstances.

It is important to remember that being pressurised, forced into having sex or taking part in sexual activity when you don’t want to is a crime, whether you know that person or not.

We would encourage people to think about violence, abuse, controlling behaviour and what consent means within their relationships as we understand the massive impact it can have on victims.

Making that first call or talking about abuse can be very hard for victims, so it is important to know that help and support is available.

If you have been the victim of a serious sexual assault then please report it - call us on 101 so we can help. Remember in an emergency or if a crime is taking place always ring 999.

Support and help

We take investigations into rape and sexual assault very seriously. We have specially trained officers who will explain the process all the way through and help you to make a statement about what has happened. There will also be people there who can help you with any medical concerns you might have.

We work closely with partners to ensure victims have access to the assistance they need and that offenders are brought to justice.

If you feel unable to report it to the police straight away, tell someone you trust. You can speak to your GP or if you are at college or university, welfare staff and the Student Union will be able to offer help and advice.

Independent charity, Victim Support are available 24/7 on 0300 303 0157 to provide help and information on support services available to victims.

You can also visit the Cumbria Together website. Cumbria Together provide an information portal bringing services and information about what is available for those affected by crime together, including rape and sexual offences, irrespective of whether a crime has been reported or no .

The Bridgeway

At The Bridgeway, the expert team of staff work to give you as much information as possible on the options available to you. They want to help you make your own informed decisions about your care and will work to support you in this, whatever your decisions may be. Everyone who contacts The Bridgeway is treated with respect and not judged. All staff are specially trained to work with people who have experienced rape or sexual assault.

The above video shows a step-by-step walk-through for victims of rape and serious sexual offences, to help them understand the process before they attend the SARC. The video was created, jointly by the Constabulary's and Bridgeway staff, to offer assurance, provide helpful information and to build familiarity, for victims at an already traumatic and sometimes confusing time.

They are contactable 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Telephone: 0808 118 6432



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