It’s not a rarity. Sexual abuse is sadly a part of everyday life for many people. It may be a surprise that this unacceptable form of abuse happens to so many people; that’s mainly because often both the victim and the abuser manage to keep it well hidden. But shockingly, recent statistics show that nearly half a million adults are sexually assaulted in England and Wales each year – and that figure isn’t showing any signs of receding. One in five women have had some experience of sexual abuse. And this abuse isn’t by any means limited to women; one in six men have also been targets of some form of sexual abuse in their lifetimes. These statistics formed the main findings from a joint study, ‘An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales’, by the Ministry of Justice, Office for National Statistics and Home Office in 2013.
In can happen to anyone
Sexual abuse is common and it can happen to anyone – no matter how high profile and “invincible” that individual may come across. One of the most well-known cases in the UK is that of 33-year-old TV star and philanthropist Katie Piper. At 26, Katie was a budding TV presenter with a promising career ahead of her. Having recently mo
ved to London to pursue her career, Katie met a man on Facebook who she went on to date. Several months later, that man went on to brutally rape her and then arrange for acid to be thrown on her face as she walked unsuspecting along a London street in broad daylight. And many high profile men have also spoken out about abuse, including global rock stars Axl Rose and Marilyn Manson, and singer Carlos Santana.
Time to speak out
Sexual abuse and violence comes in many forms, and often it’s these high profile cases that encourage others to speak out or get help. To raise awareness of this serious problem and the anguish felt by many at the hands of their abusers, the second week of February (6th – 12th) is Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Week. Now in its second year, the week will encourage people in the UK to get talking about abuse via the social media hashtag #itsnotok. There will also be a number of sponsored awareness and fundraising events hosted by organisations across the country.
Contact us at Safeline
If you are affected by any of the issues highlighted in Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Week – or know someone who is – get in touch with Safeline today. We offer a range of services to help victims of sexual abuse and violence, including advice lines and counselling dedicated to women, men and young people. Our helplines are open six days a week from Monday to Saturday. Get in touch with Safeline today via our helpline on 0808 800 5008, via text on 07860 027573 or chat to us via our online messaging system (link: https://safeline.org.uk//contact-us/). All of the calls received by Safeline are treated with the utmost confidentiality.
Safeline’s confidential helpline and advice services have enabled multiple victims of abuse to get the help they need and deserve. No one should have to endure abuse at the hands of another human being, and it is our aim to eradicate sexual abuse and violence from our society. That is why we have been working tirelessly to campaign against abuse. In 2016, we received an incredible 10,000 calls and 7,000 texts from people affected by sexual abuse and rape – and the helpline traffic has doubled in the past three months. This highlights the huge amount of people that are affected by abuse – but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Through our work with large corporations, we’ve been able to raise awareness of this heartbreakingly common problem. This year, we’ll also be at the Rugby Union annual safeguarding conference in June, which is held to help people recognise the symptoms of abuse, and to help offer support and protection to those at risk. So get in touch with us today so that we can help you eradicate abuse once and for all.