New Campaign Launched to Highlight Sexual Abuse

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 7, 2020 | Go to article overview

New Campaign Launched to Highlight Sexual Abuse


Byline: MARTIN SHIPTON Chief reporter martin.shipton@walesonline.co.uk

ANEW campaign has been launched during Sexual Violence Awareness Week which aims to end the silence around sexual abuse.

The This is Sexual Abuse campaign helps people to recognise the signs of sexual abuse and empowers them to seek help.

The campaign shines a light on the different types of sexual abuse, including sexual assault, rape, sexual or derogatory name-calling, child sexual abuse, incest, harassment and female genital mutilation (FGM).

This is Sexual Abuse is part of the Welsh Government's long-standing commitment to ending domestic violence in Wales.

The Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act came into force in 2015 and an information and advice service - Live Fear Free - offers support 24/7 via a helpline and live web chat.

Survivors helped develop the campaign and real experiences have been recreated for digital and radio adverts being aired from today.

The adverts use the real voice of one of the Live Fear Free helpline's advisers.

The powerful stories aim to help people identify behaviours they may have experienced and let them know that support is available right across Wales.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales statistics show unwanted touching was the most common type of sexual assault experienced in the last year for both men and women.

Rape accounted for around one in three sexual offences recorded by police.

Today also marks International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, a type of sexual violence which involves altering or injuring the female genitalia.

Illegal in the UK, FGM is recognised internationally as a violation of human rights and a practice which the UN is aiming to eliminate by 2030.

At the launch event the audience heard from survivors, who will speak about their own experiences.

The Welsh Government has committed PS5.25m to tackle violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence for 2020-2021.

In 2019-20, PS120,000 was provided for specialist sexual violence organisations to reduce waiting-lists for counselling.

Deputy Minister and Chief Whip Jane Hutt said: "We are striving to make Wales the safest place in Europe for a woman.

"Our ground-breaking communication campaigns, 'Don't be a bystander' and 'This is not love. This is control' have increased awareness that abuse does not always involve physical violence. …

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