Over the past quarter the service, funded by Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden, provided specialist support to 260 people who were victims of rape or other sexual offences. A team of Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) provides specialist support to anyone in Lancashire who has experienced any form of sexual violence, whether recently or in the past.
ISVAs can help with both emotional and practical support from coping strategies to safety planning as well as accompanying victims and helping them through the court process.
Deputy PCC Mr Pratt said: “I am really impressed with the support LVS provide to victims of all types of crime, but Sexual Violence Awareness Week is an opportunity shine a light on the fantastic work the specialist ISVA team carries out to support people across Lancashire.
“We know the impact of sexual violence can be severe and long lasting which is why it is so important to put specialist services in place and ensure that people can access the help and support they need and deserve.
“Tackling sexual violence is a priority in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan for Lancashire and specialist dedicated Rape and Serious Sexual Offences teams are now in place to pursue offenders and bring them to justice.
Luke Godfrey, ISVA Operations Manager at Lancashire Victim Services added: “We are really proud of the work of our ISVAs and their dedication to support victims in their recovery.
“We understand how sensitive this topic is and how hard it can be for anyone affected to talk about what has happened.
“I would urge anyone in Lancashire who has been affected by any type of sexual violence to contact us. We will work with you at your pace and find the best way forward together.”
In addition to the work of the ISVA team, the service is also highlighting the issue of consent as part of Sexual Violence Awareness Week. A digital campaign is running on social media to dispel common myths around consent. Campaign materials have been shared with partners across the county to ensure that the campaign messages reach as many people as possible.
Anyone affected by crime in Lancashire can contact Lancashire Victim Services on 0300 323 0085. The service also offers a live chat function during office hours which is available at lancashirevictimservices.org.