New support centre for sexual assault victims opens in Sheffield

Dr Alan Billings and Sarah Champion MP open Hackenthorpe Lodge. Picture: Andrew Roe
Dr Alan Billings and Sarah Champion MP open Hackenthorpe Lodge. Picture: Andrew Roe
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A new support centre for victims of rape and sexual assault has opened in Sheffield.

The South Yorkshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre has moved from Rotherham General Hospital to a new facility in Hackenthorpe.

It was officially opened by Rotherham MP Sarah Champion and police commissioner Dr Alan Billings on Friday after first starting to support people in April.

The centre is managed by Mountain Healthcare and provides a range of services including facilities for forensic medical examination and crisis support.

The building also houses facilities where vulnerable witness video interviews can take place.

Dr Billings said: “This facility in South Yorkshire will provide as welcoming an environment as is possible for individuals who have been subject to a terrible ordeal. It is important that the building is easy for them to access day or night and has the appropriate facilities to meet their needs.

“I made it clear that we must have a 24/7 facility that could provide forensic and support services to victims at a time and location to suit them. Mountain Healthcare offer excellent support and advice and make this difficult but necessary process as comfortable as possible.

“This is open to anyone in the Yorkshire Region and also offers victims the opportunity to self-refer, should they not feel ready to report any incidents to the police.”

Sarah Champion MP said: “I am honoured to have been asked to open this facility here in South Yorkshire and have a look around at the excellent facilities. I am encouraged that this building demonstrates a commitment to getting things right for victims in South Yorkshire during a very difficult time.”