We know that victims of rape and sexual violence often prefer not to report their experiences, for a variety of reasons. In addition, victims of female genital mutilation and ‘honour-based’ violence and coercion may be afraid to report the crime for family or cultural reasons.
So we work with local police forces and strategic partners to encourage reporting, and to ensure that victims who come forward get support that’s tailored to their individual needs and circumstances.
Sexual violence and exploitation is always unacceptable and the responsibility for the behaviour always rests with the perpetrator.
The impact of sexual violence
As well as suffering direct hurt and abuse, there are other effects on victims:
- Those who experience childhood sexual abuse, or sexual violence as a child or young person may be vulnerable to further abuse and exploitation.
- Those victims who are particularly vulnerable because of disabilities, health or social needs may need support in recognising what has happened to them.
- Very few cases get to court, and when they do victims and witnesses often find the process incredibly difficult. Well-supported victims are usually more willing to work with criminal justice agencies and help bring offenders to justice.