THE Northern Trust has welcomed Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall who yesterday (Tuesday 25th) opened The Rowan which is the new sexual assault and referral centre (SARC) for Northern Ireland, based at Antrim Area Hospital.
The Rowan is a one-stop location where adults and children who have been raped, sexually assaulted or sexually abused can receive specialist medical care and psychological, social and forensic support.
It is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and is a joint venture between Health and Social Care and the PSNI.
Welcoming Her Royal Highness to the facility, Bob McCann, Interim Chairman of the Northern Trust said: “The Rowan offers support to victims of sexual abuse or assault who are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. It is fundamental that those who have experienced such abuse can access all the services they require within a supportive, confidential and purpose-built environment.
“Working in partnership with the PSNI, staff in The Rowan can ensure that victims’ needs are comprehensively assessed and the necessary support is provided. We are delighted to have the support of Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall, to officially open The Rowan which will provide a vital service to Northern Ireland.”
Due to the nature of the service there has been a phased opening of the facilities with The Rowan accepting referrals from the PSNI from the beginning of May.
The Rowan will become fully operational in September when it will begin to see victims who self-refer to the centre.