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Sexual Violence and Abuse

Advice and Guidance

If you have experienced sexual violence or abuse, don’t suffer in silence. You are not alone and you are not to blame. You do not have to report the abuse or violence to the Police but to help you cope think about telling a trusted friend or family member.

There are a number of local organisations that can help and support you even if you do not want to report the crime to the Police. It does not matter whether the incident was recent or took place a long time ago, you have the right to help and support at any time.

If you are in immediate danger or you feel threatened call 999.

Adults – where to go first for help

Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) – known locally as the Topaz Centre

The Topaz Centre provides crisis support for adults who have been sexually assaulted or raped, including forensic examinations and access to healthcare and follow on support.

Tel:      0800 085 9993 (24 hour)



Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVA)

ISVAs provide practical information and emotional help for adults who have been raped or sexual assaulted as well as adult victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. Help includes advocacy and support through the criminal justice process including reporting to the police.

Tel:      0115 941 0440



The Survivor Support Service is included within the ISVA service and provides more intensive support to survivors of non recent child sexual abuse who were let down by institutions.


Specialist Sexual Violence and CSA Counselling

ISAS (Nottinghamshire County only)               

Nottinghamshire SVS Services (City and County)

SHE (Nottinghamshire County only)                


Children and Young People – where to go first for help

East Midlands Paediatric Children and Young People’s Sexual Assault Service (EMCYPSAS)

EMCYPSAS provides crisis support, forensic examinations, short term therapy and access to follow on support including children’s ISVA and healthcare.

Tel:      0800 183 0023 (24 hour)


If you do want to report the crime to the police please see reporting a crime.

Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual act or activity which could include rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse and many other unwanted behaviours.

Anyone, no matter their background can be a victim of rape or sexual assault – and this is never the victim’s fault. Any sexual activity that happens without explicit consent is assault, abuse, and could even be rape.

You may find it difficult to think or talk about what you have experienced, or may even feel guilty – this reaction isn’t unusual at all. Don’t feel pressured to tell anyone you don’t want to before you feel ready.

Remember that you are not alone - as a survivor of sexual violence or abuse, you can access independent and free specialist support in Nottinghamshire, and if you choose to report the sexual violence or abuse, can expect to be taken seriously and believed by the Police.

If you choose not to report however, that is ok – you can still access specialist support without having to involve the Police.

Sexual abuse of children involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities. The activities may involve physical contact and non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse including via the internet.

Non-Recent Child Sexual Abuse

The Police define any sexual abuse that took place over a year ago to be ‘non-recent’.

Survivors of child sexual abuse often do not disclose what happened to them until many years later. Support for non-recent child sexual abuse will depend on whether the survivor is still a child or is now an adult.

It is recognised that specialist support is vital in dealing with the trauma experienced in childhood.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) was set up in 2015 to consider the growing evidence of institutional failures to protect children from child sexual abuse, and to make recommendations to ensure the best possible protection for children in future. More information can be found on their website -

The Truth Project was set up as part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse to enable victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experiences in a supportive and confidential setting. More information can be found on their website

For more detailed information around child sexual abuse please see the useful links below:

National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC)

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of child abuse. It happens when someone uses their power to coerce or manipulate a child or young person (under 18) into sexual activity – typically in exchange for something. This might be something the young person wants, like money or status.

It can be difficult to identify as an exploitative relationship may seem to the young person affectionate or loving – and to an adult outsider, may seem simply like typical teenage behaviour. The sexual activity might appear to be consensual, but with the imbalance of power and exploitation involved, this isn’t the case.

For more detailed information around child sexual exploitation please see the useful links below:


Its not ok

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in the UK. It is also illegal to take girls or women abroad to have it done to them. Female genital mutilation includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons often called ‘cutting’.

The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women. It can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.

For more detailed information around child sexual exploitation please see the useful links below:

World Health Organisation

Mojatu Foundation

Sexual activity should only take place if both people consent to it happening. Watch this short clip to understand exactly what consent means. 


Anyone can experience sexual abuse no matter their age, race, sex, gender identity, sexuality, (dis)ability, wealth, or lifestyle. Every victim may react differently to their experience of sexual violence or abuse – there is no right or wrong way to react.

You may blame yourself for what has happened. You may feel betrayed, angry and upset. However sexual violence or abuse is never your fault.

If you are worried about speaking up about sexual abuse, you are not alone. Many victims and survivors feel scared, confused and worried. You may feel very low emotionally and you may feel ashamed about what has happened.

The most important thing is that the abuse is not your fault and help and support is available to help you cope with what has happened.

For more detailed information and support please see the useful links below:


Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services


Rape Crisis England and Wales


The Survivors Trust




Rights of women