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Sexual Abuse and Violence: It’s Not OK

Bringing up sexual abuse and violence can be a very difficult and painful conversation to have. But the key message for those that are affected by this is that you are not alone. There are lots of places that can offer advice and support.

I ddarllen yr erthygl hon yn Gymraeg – clicia yma.

People are talking about it

People ARE talking about sexual abuse and violence, with recent examples being the Harvey Weinstein #MeToo movement and the #itsnotok campaign during Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Health Awareness Week.

Having these discussions on social media and mainstream media are sending out a clear message that people ARE talking about sexual abuse and sexual violence. More people are recognising and reporting sexual abuse and violence, and this in turn leads to more convictions. The more we talk about these issues, the less power abusers have to control through shame and silence.

It doesn’t have to be recent

Survivors, whether they believe themselves to be a victim or not, are not just those who are experiencing abuse and violence right now. They could be survivors of sexual abuse or violence in the past and this is still having an affect on them.

Survivors need to know and understand that they can take action, get help and support. Hopefully, with more people sharing their experiences, it will raise awareness and survivors will look for support. You can do your part too. Share this article and the links below with anyone you think might be in need of support. They may not even realise they need help.

Help is out there

If you are a survivor of sexual violence there are lots of services out there that can support you. Here are just a few of them:

Live Fear Free – Live Fear Free is a Welsh Government service. They provide information and advice for those suffering with violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence. They also have a helpline on 0808 8010 800 or a live chat service on their website.

Women’s Aid – supporting survivors with a range of services to help women and children, including Live Chat, email support, a survivors handbook and a forum to speak with other survivors.

The Dyn Project – Supports heterosexual, gay, bisexual and transgender men suffering from domestic abuse to get access to services. Free confidential support. They also have a helpline on 0808 801 0321

Rape Crisis – Help if you or someone you know has experienced rape, child sexual abuse and/or any kind of sexual violence. Freephone helpline: 0808 802 9999

NSPCC Sexual Abuse Information about child sexual abuse and how to identify it and support a child who is a victim. If you’re worried about a child call 0808 800 5000, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is also information on Child sexual exploitation on the NSPCC website which is a type of sexual abuse.

Survivors UK – Providing counselling to support male survivors of sexual abuse, assault or rape as an adult or if they suffered as a child. They offer online chat on their website or you can text on 020 3322 1860 or Whatsapp on 07491 816 064.

Safe SpacesUK Says No More is working with pharmacies, supermarkets and banks to provide safe spaces for people experiencing domestic abuse. They will help you reach out to friends and family and contact specialist support services. Find your nearest Safe Space here.

Call Meic

If you want help or advice about relationships, or if there’s anything else worrying you, then you can call Meic and speak to a friendly advisor.

Meic is an information and advocacy helpline for children and young people aged 0-25 in Wales. We are open 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. You can contact us free on the phone (080880 23456), text message (84001) or online chat.