Rape victims in England and Wales now have access to 24/7 help, with the launch of a new 24/7 Support Line from 7 December 2022.
Specialist operators will be accessible 24/7 through telephone or webchat to give victims critical information and emotional support, including referrals for longer-term, local resources such as Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA).
The government-funded service will be administered by Rape Crisis England & Wales, which has over three decades of expertise operating a helpline for survivors of rape and sexual abuse.
It will be accessible to everyone over the age of 16 who has experienced sexual violence and abuse at any point in their lives.
The helpline has been introduced in time for the Christmas season, when it is known that allegations of sexual violence increase. At least one in four women and one in twenty men have experienced rape or sexual assault as adults.
The Support Line fulfils a crucial commitment in the government’s Rape Review Action Plan, which aims to provide support for victims of sexual crime, boost confidence in the system, and increase the number of cases that reach court.
The helpline can be contacted on 0808 500 2222 and via www.247sexualabusesupport.org.uk.