Professionals

There are around 40 Sexual Assault Referral Centre’s in the UK each covering a geographical area that is usually in line with local Policing areas.

North East SARC Support Service provides comfortable supportive surroundings, forensically secure areas and interview facilities to ensure that victims of sexual violence receive the best possible service in Teesside.

If your client discloses sexual assault or rape you need to consider the following:

  • A quick referral to SARC can ensure all health and forensic needs are addressed within the relevant timescales
  • North East SARC Support Service will work to re-empower your client – we offer choices and provide information to enable your client to make an informed decision
  • SARC staff are available for advice and support 24/7, for you and for clients
  • We offer a confidential and/or anonymous service for clients (subject to safeguarding policy)
  • We will not inform the police or make any referral without the clients consent (subject to safeguarding policy)
  • SARC support is available regardless of whether or not clients choose to report
  • We are happy to visit your place of work to talk about SARC to your team (please email katie.mackay@sarc-support.uk)
  • SARC staff offer an independent victim focussed service and advocacy when engaging with police and other professionals.
  • SARC is the central referral hub for sexual offence services and one referral into SARC can ensure that all appropriate services are put in place through agreed referral pathways

Attending Court

Remember that a victim of sexual violence does not have to report to the police or go to court to access our services.

The courts and the police and of course us recognise that reporting a crime and attending court can be very daunting and worrying for victims. The standard of proof is high for criminal convictions and this can result in acquittals at court. This does not mean that a victim is not believed, a jury must be sure that a person is guilty before finding them guilty. The risk of acquittal can put even more strain on a victim. A significant number of sex offenders are convicted every year it is important to remember this.

If a victim decides to report a case to the police, they will be supported by our SARC services. These services and support at court are delivered by specialist support workers called ISVAs. This means Independent Sexual Violence Advisor. An ISVA will provide support for you throughout the process but ensures that they do not discuss or influence your evidence in anyway. They are there to help you and are truly independent so they do not influence the outcome of the case or taint your evidence.

In most cases we refer victims to one of our partners who provide high quality ISVA services across Teesside. We would make a referral on your behalf to the most appropriate service provider to meet your needs. The SARC does operate an ISVA service for certain situations but in the vast majority of cases the victim receives a high quality service from one of our partners.

From first picking up the phone and speaking to us to a conclusion at court and beyond we will ensure that you get the services that you need.

Find your local SARC

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Teesside provides 24/7 support to anyone who has experienced rape and other sexual offences, whether this has happened recently or in the past.

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SARC Northumberland Tyne & Wear opened in September 1991 to provide a free, confidential counselling, support and advice service for women (aged 16 and over at the time of the assault) who have been subjected to an attack of a sexual nature.

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The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre aims to provide a sensitive and comprehensive service to residents of County Durham and Darlington who have experienced rape or sexual assault.

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The staff are really helpful and lovely they could not have done more

Female, 35, Police Interview

Brilliant, could not of got through this tough time without all the help from staff. Thank you for everything

Male, 20, Support Session

They were lovely and made me feel comfortable. Out of hours staff were lovely as well. Talked to me and made me feel at ease and safe

Female, 18, Medical Examination, Police Interview

Excellent, very supportive, listened and gave good advice. A massive thank you to the staff for being so supportive with my daughter and myself at this traumatic time for her. You do an excellent job.

Female, 47, Medical Examination, Police Interview
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