Thursday, 7 February 2019

Sexual Violence Awareness Week



Today is #TimeToTalk day, it's also Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness week. If you are a young person and feel like you want to run away or leave home because of sexual violence or abuse, we want to let you know that's OK and we are here to listen and support you.
 
Hi, I’m Lauren and I’m the Senior Helplines Coordinator for Children and Young People here at Missing People. This week is sexual violence awareness week, and I wanted to talk about some of the instances where we might support a survivor of sexual violence.

At the Missing People helpline, we support people who; are away from home, have a missing loved one, or who are thinking about leaving home. We are here to support people no matter what the reasons are that they’ve left home or are thinking of leaving.

We know that having experienced sexual violence or abuse can be a reason that people run away or want to run away. We know that sexual violence and abuse is never OK and never your fault.
Whatever you tell us, we won’t judge you or tell you what to do.

If you contact us because you’re thinking of running away, we can explain what your options are. We can talk you through your feelings about leaving and what would be safest for you.
If you’re away from home, we can help you to talk to the police if you’ve been reported missing. We can even help you to pass a message home if you’d like to. If you want to talk about why you’ve run away, and what you’d like to do next, we can do that too.


We know that talking about sexual violence or abuse can be difficult. We would never rush you or force you tell us something; you’re in control of how much or how little you’d like to tell us. If you would like specialist support for sexual violence or abuse that you’ve experienced, we can also help to signpost you to a relevant helpline or find a local service.

Our helpline is anonymous and confidential; this means that we don’t know who you are when you contact us. We won’t tell anyone what you’ve told us, unless you tell us that you or someone else is at immediate risk of serious harm and we have enough information to get help. We are open 24 hours a day, and you can contact us by phone or text on 116 000 – this number is completely free to call or text, so you can use it even if you don’t have credit. You can also email us at 116000@missingpeople.org.uk, or if you’re aged 11-17 you can chat to us through our website 2:30-9pm every day at www.runawayhelpline.org.uk



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Someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK. The Missing Blog aims to give a voice to all those affected by this issue.

Written by families and friends of missing people, supporters working to raise awareness of the cause, and volunteers and staff at the charity Missing People, we hope that this blog will offer a window into the issue of missing.

The charity Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. To find out more about Missing People and ways that you can support the charity visit www.missingpeople.org.uk.

Call or text the charity Missing People for free on 116 000, 24/7 if you or anyone you know is affected by a disappearance.