A NEW campaign is urging victims of rape or serious sexual assault to report the crimes.

West Mercia and Warwick-shire police have teamed up with the Glade Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Worcestershire as part of a worldwide campaign to challenge people’s perception of rape, help people come forward after an incident and to stop the incidents from happening all together.

Detective Superintendant Steve Cullen, head of protecting vulnerable people, said they will strive for the right outcome for people who decide to report rapes and assaults.

He said: “If you have been raped, we understand that you may need time to think what to do next.

“We recognise that rape and serious sexual offences remain under-reported to the police for a range of reasons.

“We are committed to ensuring victims are given every opportunity to tell the police what may have happened.”

Specially trained officers will take initial reports, arrange forensic medical examinations where appropriate, take statements, keep the victim updated of any developments in the case, and give support regarding the criminal justice system and through other organisations or agencies.

Emma Durmaz, manager of the Glade Sexual Assault Referral Centre, said incidents of rape and assault can be reported at any time, and can be reported anonymously if preferred.

She said: “The Glade SARC is open 24/7 to support anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted whether the assault has just happened or happened some time ago, maybe when you were a child.

“We can offer immediate support and medical attention to check your health and well-being as well as longer- term counselling and other services to help you come to terms with what has happened to you.

“Please do not keep it to yourself, we have helped many people and you are not on your own.”

StopRapeNow posters, scratch cards, and stickers will be appearing across the region to raise awareness, as well as information on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information, visit StopRapeNow.co.uk.

* The White Ribbon Campaign, which highlights the issue of domestic violence, is running now.

To make your pledge against domestic abuse, visit whiteribboncampaign.co.uk/worcestershire, or visit worcesternews.co.uk/whiteribbon.