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New safeguard training launched as nation marks sexual violence awareness week

A multi-agency training course giving support workers and public-facing professionals insight into how to support victims of sexual violence has launched as part of a national awareness campaign.

Chesterfield-based charity SAIL(sexual abuse and incest line) has teamed up with SV2 (Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence) and Derbyshire County Council to deliver a free half-day course to prepare public workers on how to respond to disclosures of sexual violence and abuse and how to raise concerns if they suspect abuse.

The course coincides with the start of Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week and is being undertaken by a host of public sector workers, volunteers and health and education specialists.

The national awareness week runs from February 3 – 9 and will see hundreds of events taking place throughout the UK to shine a spotlight on what remains a hidden and unreported problem.

During the course, which is fully booked, delegates will gain an understanding of what constitutes sexual violence, the scale and scope of the problem within both the UK and Derbyshire, signs and indicators, the barriers victims face reporting or confiding in someone and what support services are currently available in Derbyshire.

Dena Osborne, SAIL’s strategic head of service, said: “We are very proud to launch this course in partnership with SV2 and Derbyshire County Council. This is a great example of like-minded organisations working together to improve services and support for vulnerable people and we are very grateful to be able to share the knowledge and expertise from our partners.

“Derbyshire has a wealth of support services for victims of sexual violence and abuse but taking those first steps towards help can be a frightening experience. We need to ensure people are trained and ready to intervene to stop abuse and steer victims on the road to recovery as soon as possible.

“We are proud to offer this course during this national awareness week and hope that together we will make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people in Derbyshire.”

SAIL provides free specialist counselling for people aged 18 and over in Derbyshire who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, incest or sexual violence.

The charity has a dedicated website ( and helpline where victims of sexual abuse and violence can self-refer to the service.

Its counselling services are provided exclusively by qualified volunteer counsellors and students on placement from the University of Derby.

All counsellors receive ongoing support and supervision to ensure they are working to the highest professional standards.


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