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Camilla and Theresa May back campaign urging victims of abuse to seek help

A new campaign, backed by the Duchess of Cornwall and former Prime Minister Theresa May, has launched to encourage victims and survivors of sexual and domestic abuse to seek help through the NHS.

It comes on the first day of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week and is backed by a £20million boost to specialist services, NHS England (NHSE) said.

The campaign aims to highlight the support offered at dozens of Sexual Assault Referral Centers (SARCs) across England, while the NHS is also creating two new clinical lead roles for domestic violence and sexual assault.

The NHSE said 24-hour centers offer confidential specialist, practical, medical and emotional support to anyone who has been raped, sexually assaulted or abused – no matter when it happened.

Welcoming the campaign, Ms May said victims of sexual assault and abuse need to know that “the NHS is there for them”.

She said: “Sadly, incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault have increased during the lockdown and additional funding for services for victims of abuse and sexual violence is much needed.

“Dedicated domestic violence support for the NHS and integrated care systems is particularly welcome as local medical care plays an important role in identifying abuse and supporting victims.”


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