When it comes to sexual abuse, and violence, quite simply #ItsNotOk for this to happen.
At Derbyshire Constabulary, we are supporting National Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week – an initiative started in 2016 which aims to raise awareness of sexual abuse and violence as well as encourage conversations.
Whilst the national campaign begins today, Monday 5 February 2024, the week is an opportunity for us to highlight our work to prevent and investigate these incidents all year round.
Marking the start of the awareness week, Detective Chief Inspector Gaz Smethem 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.
“Nationally, there has been an overhaul in how these crimes are investigated – a project called Operation Soteria Bluestone. We have been fully behind this from the beginning and have been implementing a number of pillars and updates to guidance.
“This is all about ensuring victims are better informed. The process can also, understandably, feel intrusive and distressing for the victim, so we are now shifting investigations to a suspect-focussed strategy as a result.
“In Derbyshire we recognise that these crimes can be extremely difficult to speak about, which is why we have a number of options for those that want to report to the police.
“We have the dedicated reporting tool on our 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.
“We also have a team specifically dedicated to rape and serious sexual offences, working on prevention as well as investigation of these horrific offences.
“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.
“There are a number of support services that can be contacted directly for practical and emotional support. Most prominently, you can self-refer to the Millfield House Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).
“This is an invaluable service, especially in the immediate aftermath of an incident. They will be able to provide the healthcare and support you need and will be able to talk you through how they can help if you decide to make a report further down the line.”
Phone – call us on 101 or in an emergency ring 999.
The dedicated rape and sexual assault reporting tool allows you to 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. Access the reporting tool here: Report rape, sexual assault and other sexual offences | Derbyshire Constabulary