The #NotGuilty movement against sexual violence and assault was set up in April 2015. It’s a space to:
- Give survivors of sexual assault a voice and a platform to speak out – anonymity doesn’t have to equal silencing
- Reduce victim-blaming (the idea that a victim’s actions, body, or choices are to blame for sexual assault)
- Provide a sense of the solidarity of community to show survivors that they are not alone
- Demonstrate the devastating impact that rape and sexual assault can have upon survivors
The movement aims to reach those of all genders, ages, nationalities and sexualities. It is an all-inclusive, apolitical space for everybody, world-wide. If you would like to submit your story or contact us, there are forms on our page to do so. We welcome personal experiences, creative writing, positive thinking, or any initiatives, ideas or thoughts that you may have for the movement and wish to share. All contributors can choose to remain anonymous or be named at will.
To seek urgent help regarding a case of sexual assault, please see the following helplines:
Emergency: 999 – To report incidents of rape, violence or sexual assault to the police, or dial 101 to report suspicious behaviour in a non-emergency situation
NHS: 111 – The NHS out-of-hours helpline for health advice and referral to a medical professional
Domestic Violence: 0808 2000 247 – Free 24-hr helpline for Domestic Violence
Rape Crisis England & Wales: 0808 802 9999 – a confidential helpline open 12 – 2.30pm & 7 – 9.30pm
NSPCC: 0800 1111 – children’s number & 0808 800 5000 – for adults concerned about a child
MIND: 0300 123 3393 – One of the UK’s leading mental health charities, who can provide support to those suffering from mental health difficulties as a result of sexual assault, or otherwise
Supporting a survivor of sexual assault:
The NHS provides the following advice for relatives and friends of someone who has been sexually assaulted.
The Havens website has advice on what you can do to help. The advice includes:
- Don’t judge them, don’t blame them. A sexual assault is never the fault of the person who is abused.
- Listen to the person, but don’t ask for details of the assault. Don’t ask them why they didn’t stop it. This can make them feel as though you blame them.
- Offer practical support, such as going with them to appointments.
- Respect their decisions – for example, whether or not they want to report the assault to the police.
- Bear in mind they might not want to be touched. Even a hug might upset them, so ask first. If you’re in a sexual relationship with them, be aware that sex might be frightening, and don’t put pressure on them to have sex.
- Don’t tell them to forget about the assault. It will take time for them to deal with their feelings and emotions. You can help by listening and being patient. Find your nearest rape and sexual assault services, including SARCs.
- TED Talk Playlist: The Conversation Around Sexual Assault
- The Guardian: Sexual assault support services at university
- Ione Wells, Nina Burrowes and Pavan Amara on Sex After Sexual Assault
- Katie Grant on the ‘This Doesn’t Mean Yes’ Campaign for The Independent
- Rebecca Watson on “Lad Banter” at University for The Telegraph
- Circles UK – The organisation recognising dangerous sexual attitudes and combatting them in potential and previous offenders, see also ‘Don’t Offend’
- An ex-sex offender on why he committed these crimes, stressing that it stems from serious problems with the perpetrator, not the survivors for The Telegraph
- June Eric-Udorie on why it is ‘okay not to be okay’ after an assault for Cosmopolitan
- Dr. Nina Burrowes’s YouTube channel, answering many FAQs about Sexual Assault
- My Body Back Campaign – the organisation helping survivors love their bodies, feel comfortable receiving healthcare and enjoy sex again after assault
- The Second Source – the organisation combatting sexual assault in the media