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Sexual assault victims to receive lifetime NHS mental health support

By Léa Legraien
4 June 2018

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Sexual assault victims are to receive lifetime mental health care, NHS England has announced.

The new scheme will help sexual abuse victims ‘cope with the trauma’, NHS England stated.

The scheme is part of a £4m five-year plan, which aims to improve services and provide better sexual abuse and assault care in England.

Mental health and inequalities minister Jackie Doyle-Price said the new strategy will provide better signposted, more joined up and long lasting care, enabling all survivors to ‘access the support they need for as long as they need it’.

She continued: ‘The scars left by sexual violence may not always be visible, but they can be profound and long lasting – it is my priority that we have the best possible support available for survivors.

‘The more confident survivors are that they will get the right care and treatment, the better.’

With 138,045 recorded sexual offences, the year ending September 2017 saw the highest figure on record, according to NHS England. However, 80% of incidents go unreported, with as few as 28% of victims talking to the police.

The five-year strategy will include:

  • Easier access to treatment centres for combined physical and mental health treatment
  • A commitment that any victim of sexual assault or abuse will get trauma care throughout their lifetime
  • Support and guidance for all community services to join up care and prevent victims falling through the gaps between organisations
  • Better access to information for the public on available services, how to access care and guidance to understand the long-term impact of trauma.

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