Victims of abuse are being urged to seek help as concern is growing for people trapped in abusive households during lockdown.
In what has been called a “truly terrible and potentially dangerous time”, the Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (WRASAC) Dundee and Angus, is reminding those in need their support services remain open, although digitally.
WRASAC manager Heather Williams said: “However far we’ve come, rape and sexual violence are still issues that many people find hard to talk about.
“Sexual violence is prevalent in communities right across Dundee and Angus but most of it takes place behind closed doors, so sometimes people assume it’s not happening.
“Most people who experience sexual violence are assaulted by someone known to them, often within their own family or by their own partner or friend or colleague.
“This means that some people in Dundee and Angus, including children and young people, are currently at home with their perpetrators for a prolonged and indefinite time. This is – for many people – a truly terrible and potentially dangerous time.”
During Mental Health Awareness week, Heather pointed out that as well as well as home not being a safe space for many, the usual ways for people who have been abused to find relief have also been taken away.
“Even for survivors whose immediate home situation is safe, not being able to use ordinary coping mechanisms, comforts and distractions such as spending time with friends and family, working alongside others or the gym means that people are struggling with their mental health.
“Mental Health Awareness Week is important but beyond this week what is more important is that our community response to sexual violence is one of compassion and support for survivors.
“Despite the current coronavirus situation we remain open and providing support to all survivors of sexual violence, no matter when it happened.”
The WRASAC support line, 01382 205556, is open from 10am until 4pm Monday to Thursday and 7pm until 9pm on Wednesdays. The live chat, at www.wrasac.org.uk is open on the same hours Monday to Thursday and from 7pm until 9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
A voicemail inbox is also open 24/7 on 01382 201291 to leave contact details and request a call back.
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