New West Yorkshire scheme to help victims of sexual assault
A new crisis worker service is now available to victims of rape or sexual assault in West Yorkshire even if they do not wish to speak with the police.
From Monday (15/02) a free and confidential service is being offered by the STAR (Surviving Trauma After Rape) project to anyone who has been raped or sexually assault within the past seven days.
The 24 hour service is open to anyone aged 14 or over and allows victims to self-refer and does not require them to contact police.
Crisis workers are on hand to discuss options available with victims including arranging a forensic medial examination. Any evidence gained from the examination will be stored by STAR which could be made available to police should the victim decide to report the incident. Previously it was only possible for a forensic examination to be carried out if a report was made to police.
Referrals can also be made by a friend, relatives, Doctor, Social Services as well as other agencies.
Barbara Siedlecki, Manager of STAR Project said: “Being raped or sexually assault is a very traumatic time for victims, which is why we want to make it as easy a possible for people to access help and support.
“The new crisis worker service is free, confidential and there is no need for police involvement if you do not wish too.
“For the first time this new scheme will offer victims a chance of a forensic medical examination without having to report the incident to police. This means that valuable evidence can be gathered and stored so if the victim decides to report to the police then it can be made available.
“There is someone available on the end of a phone 24 hours a day and provides emotional support by trained professionals as well as being able to talk through any options you may have.
“If you do not feel you can call the service yourself, but feel you need some help, a friend can contact us or your GP, or even a relative can do it on your behalf.”
Anyone wishing to use the service is asked to contact 08444 068680 or visit www.starproject.co.uk for more information.