Pier turns purple to support sexual abuse and violence awareness week
Clacton Pier and Clacton
Town Hall have turned purple for Sexual
Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week which runs between 4th and
10th February 2019.
The initiative is co-ordinated by CARA (Centre for
Action on Rape an Abuse), a charity working with victims and survivors of
sexual violence and child sexual abuse from across mid and north Essex,
including from outreach premises in Clacton and Harwich. Over the last year, CARA has supported just
under 1,200 adults, young people and children, with over 220 coming from
sexual violence and child sexual abuse are very common, particularly affecting
women and girls. The Ministry of Justice
estimates that more than 1 in 5 women and up to 1 in 10 men has experienced
some form of sexual violence since the age of 16. The NSPCC estimates that 1 in 20 children
has been sexually abused – that’s one or two children in every school
2019 is CARA’s 30th year of
supporting survivors of sexual violence and child sexual abuse and Turning
Clacton Purple is the first in a series of events planned to mark this
CARA was originally formed in 1989 as Colchester Rape Crisis Line,
starting as a small volunteer-run group supporting women from a tiny office in
Colchester. Colchester Rape Crisis Line
registered as a charity in 1990 and became CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and
Abuse) in 2008, reflecting the much wider area of Essex the charity had started
to cover and the large number of survivors of child sexual abuse that were
seeking support. Today CARA provides a wide range of services to
victims and survivors of sexual violence and child sexual abuse, working with
people of all ages and all genders. CARA
has a head office in Colchester and outreach premises in Braintree, Clacton,
Chelmsford, Great Dunmow and Harwich.
violence and child sexual abuse are largely “hidden harms” and many victims and
survivors do not disclose what has happened to them until weeks, months or even
years after the incident has taken place, fearing that they will not be
believed, or that they will be blamed for what has happened to them.
However, over the last few years, there has been a
significant increase in public awareness of these issues and as a result, more
and more victims and survivors now feel confident enough to seek CARA’s support
and sometimes to report what has happened to them to the police.
CARA is hoping to raise £30,000 in its 30th
year through events, fundraising activities and donations.
Director, Helen Parr said: “Demand for
CARA’s services has more than trebled over the last five years and CARA has had
to grow very rapidly to respond to this increased demand. We need to secure funding so that we can
support the many victims and survivors of sexual violence and child sexual
abuse who need our help - now and in the future.
We are delighted that Clacton Pier and
Tendring District Council are supporting us in our 30th year and Turning Clacton Purple for Sexual Abuse
and Sexual Violence Awareness Week.”
Clacton Pier Director, Elliot
Ball said it is important to get behind any initiative which tries to create
safer communities for all. “The Pier will be proud to turn purple for
the week to help raise awareness of this very important issue and support
CARA’s vital work to reduce sexual abuse and sexual violence”.
Cllr Lynda McWilliams, Tendring
District Council Cabinet Member responsible for Community Safety, said it was
important to raise awareness not only of this often-hidden issue, but also for
the good work CARA does supporting victims.
“I am pleased that we are able to
turn the Town Hall purple and take part in Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence
Awareness Week – particularly in 2019 which is CARA’s 30th
anniversary,” Cllr McWilliams said.
“While it is a shame CARA is needed at all, it is vital we do all that
we can to support those who are victims to some of the most horrific crimes.”
out more about the services CARA provides, make a donation to the support the
charity’s work or find out about the events CARA has planned for its 30th
year go to www.caraessex.org.uk