Derbyshire Constabulary is encouraging people to stand up and say #ItsNotOk in support of National Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week which starts today, Monday 7 February.
The national campaign was established in 2016 and aims to raise awareness of sexual abuse and violence. It is a week dedicated to encouraging conversations across all parts of our community, standing with victims and survivors to say #ItsNotOk.
All week we'll be raising awareness of rape and sexual assault, as well as urging anyone who has been affected to come forward and seek help and support.
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “It is vital that, as a society, we do everything we can to tackle this insidious issue.
“My budget for 2022-23 will deliver additional resources to help reduce violence against women and girls by targeting offenders through the creation of new dedicated teams to reduce reoffending and harm to victims.”
It is important for people to know that they are not alone in their experiences – and that help is there for them, either by reporting directly to us, or through numerous support groups, agencies, organisations and charities.
We want to breakdown the silence and stigma that surrounds sexual abuse and violence so that survivors can feel empowered to disclose their experiences and seek support.
We have recently added a Rape and Sexual Assault reporting tool to our website. Here you can report something that's happened to you, or to someone else. You can report anonymously, without giving us your details. We won't judge you; we'll treat you with respect, and we'll always put your health and wellbeing first.
Marking the start of the awareness week, DCI Darren De’Ath said:
“Rape and sexual abuse are awful crimes that have a profound and lasting impact on victims, and there is no place for these crimes in society. We need to work together to ensure that everyone gets this message. #ItsNotOk.
“In Derbyshire we recognise that these crimes can be extremely difficult to speak about, which is why we are working to provide additional options for those that want to report to the police. The new reporting tool on the website will allow those who are most comfortable with that format to come forward, but it is just one of a number of ways that we can be contacted.
“Of course, there will be victims of these offences who do not feel ready or able to report the matter to the police. While we would always encourage victims to make a report us, we understand that this isn’t right for everyone. For those in this position, there are a number of support services that can be contacted directly for practical and emotional support.”