Nexus has issued a reminder to individuals across the region to be aware of their personal safety over the Christmas period.
In the wake of an increase in the number of sexual assaults reported in the North West in recent months, Pam Hunter, Chief Executive of Nexus NI warned that office parties and festive celebrations at this time of year can often be marred by untoward incidents.
Nexus have advised people to be extra vigilant in light of this and to know where to seek help should they be subjected to a sexual assault or rape.
Chief Executive, Pam Hunter said: “The recent reports of sexual assault, indecent assault and rape in the North West are very troubling and we are deeply disturbed by the frequency reported in the past couple of months.
“Whilst rape and sexual assault are never the victims fault, there are steps that people can take to lessen the vulnerability of their situation. This will be particularly pertinent given the season we are in.
“Stay in a group, don’t go off alone. Make sure someone always knows where you are and when you will be home. Remain vigilant at all times and keep your mobile phone charged.”
As their charity of the year, Nexus is also currently working alongside Business in the Community and with local businesses to deliver training programmes that will raise awareness of sexual harassment and vulnerability in the workplace. The training programmes will also teach people how to stay safe online.
Nexus provide counselling and support to victims and survivors of sexual abuse and rape and are keen to encourage anyone who has been a victim of such an assault to get help as soon as possible.
Anyone who has been affected can immediately contact the PSNI on 999, or The Rowan on 028 94 424 340 and for additional information and support they can contact either of the two regional Nexus offices: Belfast 028 9032 6803; Londonderry 028 7126 0566