This week is sexual abuse and sexual violence awareness week highlighting the abuse and violence often suffered by women.

And as a simple reminder, one just has to look in the papers…we have shocking stories of metropolitan police officers joking about “knocking birds about”, messaging female colleagues about raping and chloroforming them and generally using racist & homophobic language but still being allowed to be members of the police force. Football stars such as Mason Greenwood on remand and facing conviction for the abuse he perpetrated on his partner only because his girlfriend recorded his abominable behaviour and comments whilst he abused her, and numerous reports of child sex rings across the country with the police and council denying the scale of the problem.

The government reports approximately 85,000 women are raped in England and Wales alone every year. 1 in 5 women aged 16-59 has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16. However, there is an overwhelming reluctance of victims to report the crime to the police with over 90% not reporting sexual assaults and between 75 to 90% of victims never reporting having been raped.

A large scale study carried out in 2004 concluded that approximately one in four women have been subject to some form of serious sexual victimisation rape or attempted rape at some point in their lives.

Ison 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, and have commissioned training for members of our family law and personal injury teams at Ison Harrison, as well as human resources, in order that we can be better equipped to recognise the signs of abuse and then help guide those victims of abuse 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.

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 of 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 actually compensate the victim for what they have suffered but the law says it is their entitlement to receive such compensation. And the money can help one meet those expenses that may arise in the future as well as providing them with a cash sum to help them move forwards.

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 which still affects your life, please call Ison Harrison for a confidential chat with one of our lawyers on 0113 284 5000.

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