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Child abuse media coverage leads to increase requests for counselling

Media coverage over recent months on the issue of historic child sexual abuse has led to an increase in the number of people contacting St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for counselling and support.

St Mary's SARC provides a comprehensive service to people who have been raped or sexually assaulted whether recently or in the past.  The service offers individuals who have been sexually abused in the past the opportunity to access its counselling service where a report is made to the police or where the individual is considering making a report to the police. The Independent Sexual Violence Advisors can also provide advice and support up to and through any police investigation.

Centre Manager, Bernie Ryan, commented: "Often people who have been sexually abused in childhood stay silent about their experiences for a very long time and it might take something like the recent media coverage on the issue to help them eventually seek the help and support that is available.

"We have noted an increase in the number of requests for counselling, if for any reason they are not suitable for SARC services we can assist them to access other services which may be more suitable to their needs."

St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre was the first Sexual Assault Referral Centre to open in the UK.  It provides a comprehensive and co-ordinated forensic, medical, counselling and aftercare service to men, women and children living in Greater Manchester or Cheshire who have experienced rape or sexual assault, whether this has happened recently or in the past. Services are available on a 24-hour basis and people can access them either as a self-referral or via Greater Manchester Police.   St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre can be contacted on 0161 276 6515.