A RISE in the number of rape cases reported in Cheshire has been attributed by police to the support now offered to victims by agencies.
Cheshire Constabulary’s Dedicated Rape Unit have been dealing with an increase in reported rape cases since it was established over a year ago and have been working in partnership with three agencies to strengthen the support mechanisms available to victims.
The rape unit works in partnership with St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) based in Manchester and the Cheshire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) to provide victims of rape and sexual abuse with the support, advice and counselling they need to deal with what has happened and help bring the perpetrators to justice.
The partnership between Cheshire Police, RASASC and St Mary’s SARC has shown positive results, with the period from July to September 2012 showing 80.5 per cent of Cheshire rapes reported to RASASC were also reported to police, suggesting victims are becoming increasingly confident in the criminal justice process.
Debbie Dodd, Detective Inspector of the Dedicated Rape Unit, said: “Due to the fact that not all victims want to pursue a criminal complaint through the police, the partnership provides victims with support to make the right choice for them while also providing advice and guidance.
“Moving forward, it is hoped that victims will have the confidence to speak out about what has happened to them in the knowledge that they will be supported, particularly vulnerable victims.”