This week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of sexual abuse and violence to engage individuals and society in a dialogue that encourages people to search for help and seek support. The concept of the week highlights the importance of the subject and creates a spotlight for conversations.

Not talking about sexual abuse and sexual violence comes at a detriment to our society. Here at PAPYRUS, we hear daily from victims who, for a number of complex reasons, are often forced into silence about sexual abuse and violence. There is a clear message with this week: #itsnotok

The statistics for Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week show just how important it is for everyone to get involved:

  • In the UK, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse and 1 in 5 sexual assault during her lifetime. Globally this rises to 1 in 3.
  • 47%, almost half, of all transgender people have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.
  • It’s estimated that 4 million women and 631,000 men have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16 alone.
  • Trans people were most likely to have experienced sexual violence as part of a hate crime (16%), followed by bisexual people (10%), lesbians (8%) and gay men (7%).
  • One in 10 LGBT+ people said the hate crime they experienced involved some form of sexual violence (9%).
  • An estimated 12,000 men are raped in the UK every year, and more than 70,000 are sexually abused or assaulted.

There has been widespread reporting on rape and sexual abuse, particularly in the wake of the #MeToo campaign.

On HOPELINE247, every day, we provide support to people whose experience of sexual abuse or sexual violence may have contributed to thoughts of suicide.

Often, supporting someone who has been a victim of sexual abuse or sexual violence and is experiencing thoughts of suicide can be incredibly difficult. That is why, at PAPRYUS, we can support those who have are worried about someone else too. If you are concerned about a young person, it’s important to create a support network – we can help you to search for the most appropriate resources and build that network.

As a suicide prevention charity, we know how valuable it is to have the opportunity to talk and to express however you feel without fear of judgement. HOPELINE247 is confidential and anonymous service which is open every day. If you are a young person struggling with thoughts of suicide, or if you are worried about a young person, please contact HOPELINE247 on 0800 068 4141, text on 88247 or email on

If you are struggling with experiences related in any way to sexual abuse or sexual violence, here are some organisations and resources which may be able to help:

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