Homophobia & Hate Crime

The New Swindon Sanctuary SARC

View the Sexual Assault PosterIn April 2006, The New Swindon Sanctuary, opened at the Vulnerable Persons Unit opposite Gablecross Police Station, was purpose built to provide two dedicated medical examination suites with shower facilities including disabled access. There is a lounge/kitchen area where victims and their families can access tea/coffee and watch DVDs whist waiting and there are four interview rooms (two of which have video recording equipment available for use in partially soundproofed rooms). The Counsellors for the New Sanctuary service have a dedicated room at the centre.

The Centre is now jointly funded by Swindon PCT and Wiltshire Police. Julie James-Kempshall is the Centre Manager and as an ex-Police Officer herself and previously Manager of the SARC (sexual assault referral centre) when it was situated at Taw Hill Medical Practice she is keen to offer as much support as possible to victims wishing to use the facilities. Julie can be contacted on DD 01793 507811.

Jan Ryan has recently joined the team as an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor. The ISVA's role is to develop a 'care pathway' for each survivor based on an assessment of risk. This should offer the survivor choices, reinforce their own resources and address their safety. Jan will provide a unique service to survivors of sexual abuse.

SARCs are a 'one stop' location where victims, whether they be men, women or children, can access immediate medical care, a forensic examination to assist the police investigation, crisis and short term counselling and onward referral to follow up medical care and advocacy. Our self-referral victims ie. those who do not wish Police involvement are offered the full range of services.

The service is available 24/7 and is available for those who choose to go via the Police or those who wish to self-refer or be referred by another agency such as Victim Support, A&E, their own GP etc. There is a 24/7 confidential helpline set up for those wishing to self-refer which is 0845 4563462. Once contact has been made with the victim all the options available to them, depending on the length of time following the assault will be offered, including the choice of submitting anonymous forensic samples. The evidence will be sent to FSS and the victim will be informed of the result.

Victims are offered STI check-ups and onward referral to the GUM clinic if necessary. We also store Levonnelle II (morning after pill).

If you would like to report a sexual assault you can telephone the Police call centre on 0845 4087000

ALL victims whether self- or agency-referral and Police referrals should be offered conselling and this request should be routed through Julie James-Kempshall at the Centre - ensuring that a 'safe & secure' contact number is obtained from the victim.

If you have any questions, please call me on 01793 507811.

Julie James-Kempshall