A police chief has joined forces with a leading charity to assure rape victims that they will be believed.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has given funding to Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland’s Rape #webelieveyou campaign.
It’s important to me that rape victims have the confidence to come forward to the police or other organisations.Vera Baird
The campaign aims to encourage rape victims to come forward and to be confident that they will be treated with sensitivity and understanding.
Mrs Baird said: “It’s important to me that rape victims have the confidence to come forward to the police or other organisations.
“In the past, some victims may have found it difficult to seek the help they need for a variety of reasons such as embarrassment, being ashamed or simply thinking they won’t be believed.
“Here in Northumbria, we have worked hard to address these issues and through campaigns such as Rape #webelieveyou, we’re encouraging more people to come forward to the police and other support organisations if they are a victim of rape.
“We acknowledge this has and will continue to result in an increase in reported rape incidents for the force, but it’s far more important to me that victims are seeking help than having concerns over figures going up.”
Sue Pearce, of Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland, said: “We have experienced more referrals to our helpline, email and counselling service since the launch of this campaign.”
People can contact police on 101 ext 69191. In an emergency call 999.
Rape Crisis can be contacted on 0800 035 2794.