Suffolk Constabulary launches project to better understand women’s experiences of sexual violence

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Suffolk Constabulary is launching an online survey to better understand women’s and girls’ experience of sexual violence. This is part of a broader project to identify opportunities to improve our response and service in these key areas by listening to the experience and needs of women and girls.

We know that many of these offences take place in private spaces; this type of hidden harm is often not reported to police. The online public survey will be open to all women in Suffolk aged over 18 years and is completely confidential and anonymous. Completing the short questionnaire will help us to improve our understanding of the different kinds of sexual violence experienced by women, including those from under-represented groups. We want to hear about any experience of sexual violence that women and girls have encountered, whether it was reported to police or not. The scope of the crimes involved is broad and includes sexual assault, voyeurism, exposure and upskirting etc. It is also envisaged that the survey findings will assist in our crime prevention work to keep women and girls in Suffolk safer. 

The online survey will be available via Suffolk Police’s Twitter and Facebook accounts from Wednesday 19 May to Sunday 6 June. Alternatively, click here

Chief Superintendent Marina Ericson said: 

“Tackling violence against women and girls in Suffolk is a force priority. We want to hear from women and girls; to listen to their voices and their experiences. By understanding more about the scale and nature of sexual crimes that take place, especially behind closed doors, we can look to improve our response and support for women and girls. 

“We work closely with partners to encourage and support women and girls to report sexual and violent offences. Police take all reports of this nature extremely seriously and will do everything we can to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice whilst signposting victims to the agencies that can be of greatest help in times of need.” 

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: 

“Supporting victims of violence against women and girls is an important part of my role as PCC and my office provides funding for Survivors in Transition, Suffolk Rape Crisis and Fresh Start new beginnings to provide support to victims of these terrible crimes. 

“Sadly, many of these crimes take place behind closed doors, hidden from public view making it difficult to appreciate the magnitude of the issue. This online survey will help the Constabulary understand the reasons why some victims do not report these violent crimes and it will also help police to better focus its engagement with charities and women’s organisations to help prevent these crimes and improve support for victims, which is excellent news. 

“I would encourage any women or girls who have experienced such violence to take a look at the survey and share their experience in complete confidence, it really will make a difference.”

Anyone who would like to speak to someone in confidence about sexual abuse or violence can contact Suffolk Police on 101, or staff at The Ferns on 0300 1235058 or via email

For further information, support and advice visit here
Survivors in Transition – Specialist support in Suffolk for female and male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, violence and exploitation website
 
Fresh Start – New beginnings, provides a therapeutic service for children and young people up to 21 years who have reported being sexually abused and to offer support for their families website

Suffolk Rape Crisis – Support service open to females aged 14 or above who needs support following a rape or sexual assault website 

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