Independent report

International sexual violence services review published

This report provides an overview of the models of sexual assault service provision.

Applies to England


Sexual Violence Services - International Overview

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The report aims to provide insight into the various models of service provision and funding
in a number of developed and developing countries with a particular focus on the roles of government and the voluntary and community services sector.

Sexual assault referral centres (SARC) are central to the typical model of service provided to people in England who experience sexual violence. Referral and care pathways between the NHS, local authorities, and specialist sexual violence counselling expand the model further.

SARC services have continued to develop since Manchester’s St.Mary’s SARC was first established in 1982. There are now 33 sexual assault referral centres across the 39 Police Forces in England. Many SARCs are provided jointly in partnership between the police, NHS and local authorities.

The area of work covered has now expanded to include child sexual exploitation, sex trafficking, child prostitution, and the sexual abuse of vulnerable older people.

This publication will help inform further thinking as sexual assault services, including SARCs, develop to improve access and meet the varied needs of people who experience sexual violence.

This latest document will be of interest to those who are involved in commissioning or providing SARC services as well as longer term follow-up and counselling.

Published 26 November 2012