Organisations across Lincolnshire including the police, the NHS and support groups are teaming up to fight rape culture as part of national Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness week.
The #NotAskingForIt and #NoMore campaigns are both running alongside the awareness week in order to encourage people to talk about abuse.
Just one of the organisations involved is Spring Lodge; Lincolnshire’s sexual assault referral centre.
Amanda Farquhar, the manager of Spring Lodge, said: “Spring Lodge was created 7 years ago because there was a national need for every area to have a specialist sexual abuse and violence centre. We wanted to give them a safe and comfortable space to come and talk to people.”
According to recent statistics 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales alone each year. That’s 233 a day, 10 an hour and almost 1 every 6 minutes.
Awareness weeks for rape and sexual abuse are now running twice a year with this one taking place from February 6 to 12.
Amanda said: “It’s often a subject that we don’t like to talk about in society and rape isn’t a word we want to use or think about.
“It’s not something we want to believe happens, but I think we need to be able to talk about it as a subject in society and know that it happens here and everywhere and it can affect anyone of anyone colour or age or race.”
The Spring Lodge centre has recently received a grant from NHS England to fund a Sensory Garden for its members to use.
“The idea of the Sensory Garden is that it will apply to all the senses with the visual and the smell and the touch. We’ve got artificial grass, a water feature and areas for adults and for children.” said Amanda.
If you’ve been affected by any form of sexual abuse or violence, or you know someone who has, you can find more information on the Spring Lodge website: http://www.springlodge.org/