Peterborough loses sexual assault referral centre but new Cambridgeshire wide centre opens at Hinchingbrooke Hospital
Cambridgeshire's new Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) will open at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, on Wednesday, December 14, as Peterborough's centre closes.
The facility, which will be known as The Elms will replace the Oasis @ Rivergate which closes to patients on Wednesday.
The Elms will provide a dedicated service to all victims of sexual assault by providing them with a safe place to receive medical aftercare, forensic examinations, support and to anonymously report sexual assaults.
There will also be dedicated facilities for children and young people including paediatric clinics.
Support is available 24/7 to anyone who has experienced sexual abuse by calling 0800 193 5434
Services at The Elms will be provided by a partnership including Cambridgeshire Rape Crisis, Peterborough Rape Crisis, Embrace, Peterborough Women’s Aid, Victims Hub, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Mountain Healthcare Ltd
Detective Chief Inspector Jon McAdam, of Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s public protection department, said: “I am really pleased that we are able to provide this brand new facility to offer the best possible care for those who have experienced a sexual assault.
“The Elms support abuse survivors when they are at their most vulnerable, ensuring they receive the highest quality care and ongoing support.
“There has been an increase in reporting of sexual offences as survivors are gaining greater confidence that these offences are treated with the upmost seriousness so it is very important that we are able to provide the best possible facilities.
Rachel Matheson, The Elms’ manager, said: “The Elms is a fantastic new facility, conveniently located on the hospital site which will make it very accessible for anyone who needs to use it.
“The service that we provide to victims is vital and I am pleased that we will be able to offer dedicated spaces for survivors of all ages and genders.
“While we work closely with the police I would like to reassure anyone who attends the centre that everything they tell us is confidential and will not be reported as a crime unless they specifically ask for it to be.”
Jacqui Campey, services manager for Peterborough Rape Crisis, said: “Peterborough and Cambridge Rape Crisis will continue to work closely with the SARC through our independent sexual violence advisors service in providing practical and emotional support to survivors throughout Peterborough and Cambridgeshire
“The counselling rooms at the new SARC will be utilised by Rape Crisis support workers and counsellors as an additional place to deliver one to one support”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, said: “More and more people are gaining the confidence to report cases of sexual violence and it is vital to me that in Cambridgeshire we provide the best support we can to victims so that they are helped through the traumatic experience.
“This new facility brings together services under one roof, making it easier for the victim and allowing support agencies to work together even more effectively.”
Peterborough Rape Crisis will be located at Thorpe Hall, Peterborough, from December 14.
More information about The Elms is available online at www.theelmssarc.org. The website includes an option to hide the webpage from your browser history to enable survivors to view it without fear.