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9 March 2015, 15:01
Victims of sexual abuse across Tyneside and Northumberland aren't speaking out because they don't think they'll be believed, according to a charity.
Rape Crisis fears women are suffering in silence and sometimes even blame themselves for being attacked.
Chief Executive Officer of Rape Crisis Sue Pearce said:
"Sexual violence can come in many forms, but the one common factor is that the survivor is never to blame."
"One of the main reasons why people don't report to the police is because they don't think they'll be believed and they keep quiet."
The charity's new campaign 'Rape #we believe you' is being supported by the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.
Rape Crisis provides an independent and confidential service to women who have experienced rape or sexual assault, giving them access to free, confidential support, information and counselling.
The vivid and eye catching campaign artwork is aimed at raising the profile of Rape Crisis and the work that it does.
The launch follows International Women's Day on March 8 which also provides groups and charities with the opportunity to raise awareness of services and events impacting on women.
Fully confidential, callers do not have to give any information they don't want to, including their full name and address, and they will be directed to counselling and services along with other forms of support to help them deal with their experiences.
Northumbria PCC Vera Baird, who has provided Rape Crisis with funding for her campaign through her Community Safety Fund, said:
"I'm delighted to support this vital service for the Tyneside and Northumberland areas."
"Rape Crisis works with vulnerable victims of sexual violence who often feel no one understands them and they are alone with no one to help them as they face their horrendous experience."
"This service provides victims with a pathway to safety with access to people and organisations who fully understand what they are going through and are able to get them the help and support they need."
"I know this campaign will raise the profile of this excellent service and make people aware of what is out there to help them when their need is greatest."
Anyone wanting to contact Rape Crisis can call the helpline on 0800 035 2794.