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Francis Blog Number 3

20 Mar 2019

When we embarked on this Out Of The Shadows campaign, the main intention was to highlight the need to talk about sexual violence; to bring it out of the shadows and for victims and survivors to understand that there is support out there for them. In the last few months a much bigger campaign came to light with the allegations made against some of the Hollywood elite and how they used their power to sexually exploit women and in some cases men. Goes to show that the same sexual exploitation stories are happening everywhere; this is a crime that can affect anyone, anywhere and at any time. Due to many high-profile cases and the bravery of some incredible people so many more people are now talking about sexual harassment and sexual violence. Millions of people have started to use the #metoo and #timesup hashtags to highlight and share their stories. This is a worldwide problem and we need to keep shouting about it, prising it out of the undergrowth and the murky shadows and into a bright spotlight where it can be seen for what it is. Fundamentally Wrong. Whilst we have made small steps with our local campaign, even turning the fountains green in centre square as part of sexual violence awareness week, it’s positive to see this difficult subject being talked about more and more on a mass level. We hope people will continue to speak out with the knowledge that there is support out there and charities like ARCH North East have the team to assist and help in any number of ways, whether that’s counselling or advocate support as they progress through the legal system. Let’s keep talking and bring this wretched crime out of the shadows for good.

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