Avon and Somerset Police launch website for rape victims

Victim (posed by model)
Image caption The website offer various types of support for victims, including advice on the legal process

A website aimed at encouraging rape victims to come forward and report their ordeal has been launched by Avon and Somerset Police.

Rape Aware offers practical support and advice to those who have been subjected to rape and sexual assaults.

The force says just 8% of victims of such crimes report them.

New Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "Far too many people are suffering in silence."

The launch has been welcomed by a Bristol charity which provides support to victims.

Carol Metters, director of Safe-Link, said it would be a "lifeline" for victims as they could access valuable information anonymously.

The website gives users a step-by-step guide of what to do if they have been raped or sexually assaulted and explains the process from reporting through to any court proceedings.

Assistant Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: "Information is power: A big part of protecting yourself from becoming a victim or becoming a perpetrator comes through awareness of what rape and sexual assault is, and what consent is - 'only yes means yes'."

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