A centre to help victims of sexual assault based at Antrim Area Hospital has treated over 2,000 people in just three years, it has been revealed.
The Rowan centre which is Northern Ireland’s only Sexual Assault Referral Centre has supported 2086 people in its three years of operation.
Details released by the Northern Health trust which covers Mid Ulster, also reveal that more than a third [37 per cent] of victims were children.
The centre provides a ‘one-stop location’ for victims who have experienced sexual assault, whether recently or in the past.
Services are provided for all victims, including men, regardless of age, ethnicity, ability or sexual orientation. Support can also be given to service users in making a report to the police if they wish, either at the time of the assault or at a later date.
“At The Rowan we understand the devastation sexual violence can have on the lives of individuals and their families,” said Karen Douglas, Service Manager for the Rowan.
“We are pleased that for three years those who have accessed our services have been helped by the care they received. We want to ensure that everyone affected by sexual violence knows The Rowan is here to help. If you were sexually assaulted weeks, months or even years ago, with or without reporting to the police, we can offer support and you can contact our team.
“By working together and keeping victims at the heart of the service, we can ensure they receive the best care possible and whatever support they may require to rebuild their lives.”
If anyone wants to contact The Rowan they can phone the free helpline number 24 hours a day on 0800 389 4424 or visit on The Rowan website www.therowan.net.