Vigil held in Chichester

Lifecentre vigil: Picture gallery of event in Chichester

People came together in Chichester for a vigil in honour of rape and sexual abuse survivors.

By Charlotte Harding
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 11:57 am
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2022, 12:23 pm

After hearing from childhood sexual abuse survivor ‘Sarah’ and the High Sheriff, the crowd walked to Priory Park where they took part in a six-minute silence which symbolizes the six women who are raped and sexually abused every day across Sussex.

The event was organised by Lifecentre – a local charity supporting those who have had an unwanted sexual experience - as part of ‘#WeCanTalk’.

The campaign’s aim is to encourage survivors to talk about their experiences and seek help, and to encourage others to be willing to listen.

The Mayor of Chichester, Councillor John Hughes, Chief Inspector Nick Bowman, District Commander for Arun and Chichester also joined the vigil along with supporters and members of the public.

Kathryn Slatter, CEO of Lifecentre said: “Six minutes will seem like a long time but imagine silently carrying around the trauma of rape or sexual abuse for a six-days, months, years or in some cases a lifetime.

“Many people tell us they fear they won’t be believed, and they talk about the shame they feel, even though what’s happened to them is not their fault. There are many barriers to people coming forward, but we believe survivors deserve to be heard and to get the help they need to begin the recovery process.”

Lifecentre provides support and therapy to anyone, of any gender, who has had an unwanted sexual experience, whether in childhood or adult life.

As well as offices in Chichester, Worthing, and Crawley, they have a freephone helpline on 0808 802 0808 and text helpline on 07717 989 022.

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