A new report has revealed that over half of all women that have survived sexual violence in Greater Manchester have not been able to access the support services they need.
The Voices of Survivors: Hearing Women for Change report, produced by the Voices of Survivors (VOS) Partnership, is made up of MASH (Manchester Action on Street Health), Manchester Rape Crisis, Trafford Rape Crisis, and Manchester Metropolitan University.
The new report states that 56% of female survivors of sexual violence in Greater Manchester are not able to access support. It also found that the main barriers facing women in accessing support include where they live, women’s perceptions of their experience and inconsistent support.
Some women claimed that their reasons for not speaking out are due to fear of being judged, and some said they were not able to access support in their area.
The report found that where women live is particularly important when assessing the likelihood of receiving the aid they require, with those from Bolton, Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside less likely to be able to find help.
According to the report, specialist charities are the most helpful source of support for those that might have experienced sexual violence.
VOS are calling for long-term change, bought about by the “establishment of a Greater-Manchester wide network of survivors, third sector organisations and statutory partners”.
Cate Allison, CEO of MASH, said: “In this report we hear the voices of hundreds of brave women in our area who have experienced sexual violence.
“Throughout this research it has been shocking to hear that so many have been unable to access the help they need.
“The VOS Partnership sees this important research as the beginning of a step forward for the better in Greater Manchester which will mean female survivors don’t face these barriers to accessing vital support.”
The research has been compiled from the responses of almost 400 women, gained commission by the VOS Partnership and has recently received funding by Lloyds Bank Foundation.