CHESHIRE'S Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has announced he was worked to ensure survivors of sexual abuse and sexual violence now have more opportunities to seek support.

PCC David Keane has commissioned Cheshire’s Rape and Sexual Assault Support Centre (RASASC) to extend its service to help survivors of the crimes on both evenings and weekends.

The charity, which has been working in Cheshire for a number of years, supports people who have been affected by rape or sexual violence by providing free community-based support to help them recover from their ordeal.

It offers one-to-one counselling services and support through the criminal justice process for anyone affected by sexual violence who lives in Cheshire, supporting all genders and both ongoing and historic cases.

Mr Keane said: “Rape and sexual assault are particularly distressing crimes and the effects can be long-lasting and require specialised support to help survivors to be able to cope and to work through to recovery.

“Sadly, the current Coronavirus restrictions mean that some survivors of sexual abuse and violence are facing the additional trauma of spending more at home with their abuser with little rest-bite from the abuse.

"The backlog in the courts is also compounding the situation for those whose cases are going through the judicial process.

“RASASC do a fantastic job in supporting many people in need throughout Cheshire and because of lockdown, the service needs to be more accessible than ever so I’m pleased to provide funding so it’s available seven days a week and during evenings too.

“We must use awareness weeks like this to send a message that sexual abuse and violence is not OK and will not be tolerated in Cheshire.

"I will also continue to ensure we have some of the best support services in place available to Cheshire residents.”

If you or someone who you know has experienced rape or sexual abuse, they can contact RASASC on 0330 363 0063 or refer themselves through the online referral form: