The Compass Centre raising awareness of Shetland’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre

The Compass Centre aims to raise awareness of NHS Shetland’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre amid Sexual Health Awareness Week.

SARC is a service for anyone who has experienced rape and/or sexual assault in Shetland which allows for the collection of forensic medical evidence.

This service opened at the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick in April last year, making it the first of its kind for Shetland.

Andrea Sherwood, lead sexual health nurse at NHS Shetland, said: “We were initially forecast for three referrals in the first year, but we’ve actually had eight in total since opening in April 2022.

“Obviously, these are still small numbers in the grand scheme of things, but it’s encouraging that folk have felt able to come forward and use the service after an experience of sexual assault and/or rape.”

Lisa Ward, service manager at The Compass Centre, added: “After a successful first year of the service, we hope that, in raising awareness of the service, it will continue making the choice to access justice after sexual crime feel more accessible to survivors in Shetland.”


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