Sexual Assault Referral Centres
SARCs provide a single, safe location where victims of sexual assault can receive medical care and counselling, as well as assisting Police investigation into alleged offences. They include facilities suitable for a high standard of forensic examination.
Central to the SARC service is protecting and preventing harm to vulnerable people. Our service includes 24/7/365 access to our dedicated Call Centre, where we provide a single, not for profit, dedicated phone number which is staffed at all times, capable of handling approximately 1,150 calls per day. Call handlers undertake a month of training before being able to answer calls independently, and are supported on shift by a Duty Manager.
Every effort is made to ensure that a client’s visit to a SARC is conducted in the most professional and caring manner possible. The dedicated phone number allows individuals who do not currently want to refer to the Police to be able to access critical SARC services through self-referral. Clients who self-refer are given the opportunity to visit any SARC, as they may have family or friends in one of these areas.
We recognise that our role in the SARC extends beyond the client leaving the SARC building. Clients will receive a follow up call the next working day after their SARC attendance and again after two weeks. This ensures that we can respond to any questions, allay fears and ensure all appropriate referrals are made. These calls will also be used to ensure the clients are comfortable with their next steps.
G4S were involved in establishing Hope House in Gloucestershire, one of the first SARCs in the country to be connected to a hospital and its sexual health services. This allows victims of rape and sexual assault to access medical care, counselling, advice and support, as well as Police services, in a secure, caring and confidential environment.
G4S Health Services worked closely with Gloucestershire Police Authority and Gloucestershire NHS PCT in the development of Hope House SARC, advising on medical room layout, build quality, supply, storage, kits, medication, policies and procedures. We also provide a dedicated team of over ten female Sexual Offence Examiners.
G4S’ clinical expertise and partnership ethos have delivered similar successes in a number of other counties around the UK, and we have been instrumental in establishing and delivering services to a number of SARCs. These centres play an essential role in providing victim centred care and strengthening the trust and confidence those living and working in the community have in the Police and local health providers.