#itsnotok - Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week
This week, action has been taking place all over the country as part of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, to raise awareness of these horrific crimes and the steps we can take to tackle them in the UK. Through its hashtag #itsnotok, the week highlights how sexual abuse and violence continue to go under-reported, and works to break the silence surrounding them.
The Crime Survey for England and Wales indicates that, in an average week in London, around 350 women are sexually assaulted or raped - equivalent to 11 women in each borough, every week of the year.
The Survey estimates that, overall, 20 per cent of women and 3.6 per cent of men have experienced sexual assault or rape at some time in their lives since the age of 16.
This is simply unacceptable - in our capital, or anywhere in the world.
That’s why the Mayor and I have made tackling sexual abuse and violence a priority in our work to keep Londoners safe.
We have to work to prevent sexual violence, to bring more offenders to justice, and make sure the right support services are there to help survivors cope and recover. We are absolutely determined to do our part to work towards a city that is free from these crimes.
At the heart of our approach is a belief in working with as many individuals, voluntary organisations and communities as possible and putting victims at the centre of this work. We know that support for survivors is patchy across the capital, so we’re investing in services to ensure victims receive joined-up and accessible care, tailored to their needs and available wherever they live in London.
We are working with schools in Croydon to trial a programme educating young people on healthy relationships and, critically, tackling sexual violence and abuse is now a priority for the Met in every Borough.
We’re also recruiting London’s first Victims Commissioner, who will stand up for survivors of crime throughout the capital and influence the development of these services.
This is one of the most important issues our city faces, and we want to hear from as many Londoners as possible on our proposals to tackle sexual violence, as well as our other plans to make London a safer city. You can take part in our consultation at www.london.gov.uk/police-plan.
What you tell us will help guide our work over the next four years.
Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime