Guernsey’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre will be located on the North Plantation, above the Choices Centre, during its initial pilot phase.
Following the announcement last month that Charlie Cox (pictured) has been appointed as the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) manager, the Committee for Home Affairs is delighted to now be able to confirm the location of the new centre.
Ms Cox is now appealing to members of the public who have been the victim of sexual assault or abuse who may be interested in supporting the design of the centre to come forwards to give their ideas, so that the blank canvas of the site can be built on.
The location of any SARC is very important – it must be easily accessible while also being independent from the Police.
Charlie Cox, SARC Manager, said: “It is important the SARC is in a location easily accessible to the public, but it is equally important that it is independent from the Police so that people can be confident about accessing the centre if they chose not to report the crime.
“At the moment we have an empty shell, and are looking for individuals who have been sexually assaulted or abused who may wish to support us in the design and feel of the service, using their experiences to inform us. We have some important decisions to make with regard to the name, layout and feel of the service and want to achieve these in partnership with those impacted by sexual assault and abuse.”
The UK office for National Statistics (2021) states that one in four women and one in 20 men have been raped or sexually assaulted as an adult. A recent Guernsey Police sexual offences survey focussing on the night-time economy showed that, of those who responded, over 60% have experienced physical or sexual abuse locally.
Once the SARC is operational it will offer independent medical, practical and emotional support for people who have been sexually assaulted or abused.
Deputy Rob Prow (pictured), President of the Committee for Home Affairs, said: “I know that the team working on the development of the pilot SARC have looked carefully at the matter of its location. The Centre will be a place for victims of all kind of sexual assault and abuse to come forwards and receive support, but it also must remain distinct from the criminal justice system – going to a SARC is a separate route to going straight to the police to allow people to make their own choices about how they are supported. The SARC’s development remains a priority for the Committee, and we are delighted to have made continued progress in recent months with the appointment of Charlie, and the confirmation of the Centre’s initial location.”