Sexual Violence FAQs
It can take a long time to recover from what has happened and many people have up and down days but with the right support and over time people do move on and continue to live happy and fulfilled lives. Many survivors of abuse and violence also go on to help others – either through voluntary or paid work. The important thing is to get the help you need when you need it.
This is a complicated question. When you report a sexual assault, the police should believe what you say and take detailed information from you. They will investigate this. Unfortunately in cases where there is no evidence the police or the Crown Prosecution Service may decide not to continue with the investigation. However, this does not mean that you are not believed. Whether a case goes to court or not you should still be referred to appropriate support agencies who can help you overcome the traumatic impacts of having been assaulted.
The police have specially trained officers who deal with all reports of rape. In North Yorkshire there is also a Sexual Assault Referral Centre which deals with many of the reports. Neither the staff at the SARC or the police should judge you for what has happened. Their job involves listening to what you tell them, gathering evidence and referring you on for support.
Many people who’ve been sexually assaulted feel in some way to blame for the assault. This is a normal reaction - we all seek to rationalise what has happened to us in many different circumstances and worry that we are somehow responsible for other people’s actions. However, it is only ever the perpetrator or rapist who is to blame for what they have done. They chose to assault you and only they are responsible for this choice. If you need support with any of the feelings you have about being assaulted we can offer this. We can also refer you to a counsellor if you prefer.
The majority of cases that are going to be ‘heard’ at the Crown Court take a long time. It is normal for cases to take many months and even over a year before they come before the court. This is due to a number of things such as pressure on the court system and the length of time it takes for the Crown Prosecution Service and defence lawyers to build their case.
If you are being supported by an ISVA she will keep you informed at every stage of the court process and explain what is happening.
Yes – we can signpost you to other agencies and refer to other organisations throughout the UK.
We cover the whole of North Yorkshire but can also help you access services outside of these areas.
We offer one to one support to anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse or violence. This support can be about the criminal justice system i.e. reporting to the police or about providing you with advice and information to help you recover from the impacts of sexual assault. We can also refer you on to specialist counsellors.
If you have a question please contact us on [email protected]