Building work has started on a new state of the art centre that will offer anyone who has been sexually assaulted a safe environment to receive the care, treatment and support they may need.
The Blue Sky Centre or Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) is being built on the site of George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton and will provide a medical response to anyone – of any age or gender - who has been sexually assaulted and act as a gateway to other services offering advice and support. It will be accessible to anyone from Coventry or Warwickshire.
Taylor Kenney, a survivor of sexual violence, was part of the group invited to officially start the building process. Taylor said: “A service like this is really important for the people of Coventry and Warwickshire. It offers a great support network for people at a very difficult time in their lives.”
Agencies across Coventry and Warwickshire including the police, NHS, Warwickshire and Coventry Councils together made a firm policy and financial commitment to improve services for survivors of sexual assault and establish a Sexual Assault Referral Centre in the region. They are delighted that this is all now coming to fruition.
The centre will be being managed by Tony Mumford, a former detective inspector with Warwickshire Police. Tony said: “Work has now started with the foundations being laid, but the actual building is already under construction at ‘Central Site Construction’ in Coventry. Once the foundations have been laid, the building will be dropped into position on the site. Construction work is expected to last until early next year with the service going live soon after.
“I’ve been involved in this project from the very early stages and it’s really pleasing to see work finally begin on the building. Soon, we will be able to start providing a first class service to some of the most vulnerable people in Coventry and Warwickshire and be the first step for them on the road to rebuilding their lives.
“The Sexual Assault Referral Centre will offer a place where you can report a rape or sexual assault, whether to the Police or in confidence to the Centre staff only and benefit from medical treatment and counselling.
Support will be provided by dedicated staff who will explain all the various options available.
If at a later time should you decide to report the assault to the police all the relevant forensic evidence will be available.
Forensic evidence may still be passed to the police, with your permission, even if you want to stay anonymous.
Sexual assault can affect anyone, male or female, adult or child. If you have been sexually assaulted, there are agencies in Coventry and Warwickshire who want to help you. It does not matter if the assault occurred months or even years ago, please still come forward
To report a rape or sexual assault to the police, please call 01926 415000 or 101 the new non-emergency number. In an emergency dial 999.