Rape centre brings forward more victims

Lincolnshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) Spring Lodge had helped the number of reported rapes increase with almost 20% in the past year.

Since being opened by the police and NHS in May 2010, more people are coming forward to disclose that they were raped or sexually assaulted.

Lincolnshire Police stresses the increased figure does not mean that sexual crimes are on the rise in the county.

Detective Inspector Sean Baxter said: “This is not an indication that the number of rapes is increasing, but that victims have more confidence in coming forward to report the crime and seek help and support.

“The criminal investigation aspect of the SARC is only one of its functions, and its main focus is to support victims medically and emotionally.

“It was hoped that through this, victims would feel able to report the crime to the police and receive the help they needed throughout the criminal justice process.

“I’m therefore delighted that the SARC has helped more victims to feel that they can report this crime to the police and through this we can bring more offenders to justice.”

Spring Lodge has state-of-the-art facilities, with a number of agencies and services available to help victims with their cases.

Inside, people can have access to medical services as well as talk to a trained crisis worker, an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser or a member of Victim Support.

Forensic evidence can also be gathered for when individuals want to report the crime to the police.

SARC Manager Amanda Farquhar says: “Here at Spring Lodge clients are given one to one support which is focused around their individual needs and the feedback we have received has all been positive with clients telling us that they feel supported, safe and respected.”

Source: Lincolnshire Police| Related Report: BBC Lincolnshire | Photo: Spring Lodge