New centre for rape victims in South Yorkshire

A new specialist centre for dealing with victims of rape and sexual assault in South Yorkshire is to be set up.

It will replace the one currently operating in Rotherham after the contract for the service was won by a new provider.

A new region-wide service will be provided from centres in South, West and North Yorkshire plus Humberside, with staff sharing expertise.

Sexual assault referral centres give victims a dedicated and private environment in which to undergo a forensic examination and be advised on, and supported in, the process of reporting offences to the police.

Chris Jewesbury, Head of Health and Justice Commissioning for NHS England in North Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “It is vital that we ensure victims of sexual assault get the right help and support in an environment which puts them at ease.

“By putting in place one single organisation which can provide this service right across Yorkshire and the Humber clinicians will be able to work together in order to learn from each other so they are better equipped to deal with these complex and delicate issues.”

For the first time all victims from across Yorkshire and the Humber will receive a consistent service, each will have access to a crisis worker who can offer help and guidance from the moment the assault is reported until the conclusion of any legal process.

Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, said: “Sexual assault referral centres provide an essential service for the victims of these terrible types of crime.

“The support and care for survivors of rape and sexual offences is absolutely vital to ensure their recovery.”