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What if my friend has been sexually abused?

Sexual abuse is a serious crime. It can also have devastating effects on the victims of it. There are numerous organisations that can support your friend through this type of abuse many of which can be accessed from the Victims Service Directory.

Warwickshire Police will deal positively with any reports of sexual abuse, and have procedures in place to best support your friend through the process of making a complaint.

Will my friend be believed?

The most important thing to remember is that your friend will be believed.

Any of the support agencies that they call will listen to their situation and offer support and advice. It is their choice about what they want to do next.

If you or they are considering contacting the police and reporting the abuse as a criminal offence click here to learn about contacting Warwickshire Police.

What will the police do?

All Warwickshire Police operational staff including police officers and police community support officers are trained to listen in a sympathetic and supportive manner.  They will discuss options with your friend and refer them to support services.

The police have dedicated and trained staff who will talk to your friend about the abuse in a caring and sensitive manner. They will explain the process to them and discuss options available to help them to come to terms with what has happened, and also to prosecute the perpetrator if appropriate.

The safety of your friend and their family is vital. A risk assessment will be made to reduce the risk to them and their children while the investigation takes place.

What does my friend need to do?

If your friend is ready, contact Warwickshire Police on 101 or in an emergency, please dial 999.

When you report sexual abuse to Warwickshire Police, they will work closely with partners to determine how best to protect your friend from further harm.

For example, Warwickshire Police can help protect your friend within their own home. They could lend them a mobile phone so they can always call the police, they can 'flag' your friend's address so any future calls that they make will be treated as urgent, they can install an alarm within their home linked to police systems, and they can help direct your friend towards agencies who can help with housing.

Warwickshire Police can refer your friend to support services who can help out with employment, financial planning and debt issues. The police's aim is to protect your friend and their family. 

Sometimes the best way for your friend and their family to be protected is to seek to prosecute the person responsible for abusing them.

The result of a successful prosecution may mean a prison sentence or some form of community order, which will allow agencies to exercise some degree of control.

Warwickshire Police will not pressure your friend to support a prosecution if they feel unable to. They will receive help, whatever decision they choose to make.

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