This week is the UK’s national week for raising awareness of sexual abuse and sexual violence (6th – 12th February 2023)

Last year we wrote a similar blog which touched on some of the news headlines at the time. Unfortunately, not much has changed.

“Police investigate the sexual assault of a member of staff at a hospital”.

“Manager exposed himself in front of me.”

“Man jailed for sexual abuse of teenage boys over three decades”.

Those are some of the headlines in the last 24 hours…

We also have a Metropolitan Police Officer guilty of 85 offences against women and girls, including multiple rapes.

The above is why this week is so important for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and sexual violence. This week aims to promote healthy discussions, raise awareness, and ultimately destigmatise the issue.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 women are raped or sexually assaulted as an adult in the UK. The overall statistics in England and Wales found that 85,000 women experience rape, attempted rape or sexual assault every year. Approximately 12,000 men (aged 16-59) are raped in the UK every year. And many don’t report the sexual violence or abuse they suffer.

The Office of National Statistics found the following figures for non-reporting:

  • 40% said it was due to ‘embarrassment’
  • 38% said they didn’t think the police could help
  • 34% said they thought it would be humiliating.

It’s not ok.

These statistics are incredibly concerning. But if talking about the issue can destigmatise it somewhat, it might encourage victims to come forward. And if we can raise awareness and educate, it better equips us to spot the signs of abuse and be able to listen and understand when people do speak out.


idasIson Harrison have teamed up with the charity IDAS, the largest specialist charity in Yorkshire supporting anyone experiencing or affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence.

Last year we commissioned training for members of our family law and personal injury teams at Ison Harrison, as well as human resources and we now have a number of colleagues who are IDAS Champions. Being an IDAS Champion means having ongoing training and support to ensure we are able to raise awareness of sexual abuse and sexual violence and educate others so that domestic abuse is something that people talk about. We are equipped to recognise the signs of abuse and have the ability to guide those victims to the appropriate bodies who can give the best possible assistance for their needs.

IDAS provides refuge accommodation, community-based support peer mentoring group work, and access to a free and confidential out of hours helpline.

How can our solicitors help?

Ison Harrison’s family team are free to assist those who have been victims of abuse to put together a pathway out of that ordeal and can help to arrange and work to support safe domestic arrangements, childcare, emotional support, and medical care where necessary, plus assist with all the requirements of the family Court.

Our personal injury team can assist those victims of abuse to claim compensation. We understand no sum of money can ever truly compensate the victim for what they have suffered but the law says it is their entitlement to receive such compensation. The money received can help victims meet those expenses that may arise in the future as well as providing them with a cash sum to help them move forwards. One of the most important aspects for some of our client’s is the closure that settling a claim brings.

The compensation can be claimed either from the person or organisation who caused or allowed the abuse to take place such as individuals who perpetrated abuse or employers who gave the perpetrators of abuse the opportunity to abuse. And if there is no-one a claim can be sought against, we can still assist victims to make claims against the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) – a scheme set up to offer compensation to the victims of violent offences.

If you would like to speak to a member of the family law team to assist with the journey forwards or to the personal injury team to claim compensation for the abuse you have suffered, please call Ison Harrison for a confidential chat with one of our lawyers on 0113 284 5000.

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