Health Minister launches new directory of services for survivors of sexual violence and abuse
Health Minister Michael McGimpsey today launched a new regional directory of services for victims and survivors of sexual violence and abuse.
The Regional Directory of Services is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, bringing together details on the range of services available (statutory and voluntary) across the province. It is designed for easy access and use by victims and survivors of sexual violence and abuse as well as health professionals and others working in the sector.
Launching the directory at Nexus headquarters in Belfast, Mr McGimpsey said: “For the first time in Northern Ireland, information on where help can be sought for those affected by sexual violence and abuse has been collated in one place.
“With an estimated 80-85% of incidences of sexual violence going unreported, it is essential that people are made aware of the support and help available to them should they need it. So the publication today of this new directory is a hugely important step in encouraging people to come forward and seek that help and support.”
The directory consists of a broad range of information including details of specialist counselling for all victims whether children, young people or adults, information on how to report sexual violence and abuse, and details of other support services available across the province.
The Minister concluded: “I am confident the publication of the Regional Directory of Services will make a real difference to victims and survivors of sexual violence and abuse. And again I would encourage those affected not to suffer in silence but to come forward and seek help.
“Working together we must make sexual violence and abuse totally and absolutely unacceptable in our society and we all have a part to play in achieving this.”
The directory will be available free from a range of public places including from GP surgeries, libraries, voluntary and community groups and online at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/wrong It has been produced in a discreet CD size booklet for members of the general public and a larger more detailed A4 binder format for professionals.