The Blue Sky Centre (Sexual Assault Referral Centre - SARC) is a service for women and men over 18, which recognises all forms of sexual violence including:
- Sexual Assault
- Childhood Sexual Abuse
- Rape within marriage
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Sexual Exploitation
The Blue Sky Centre staff appreciate how difficult it is to speak out following an assault. At the SARC you can expect to be treated with dignity, respect, and compassion. You will be in control of your decision making; it is on your terms and in your time. We offer choices and information to help you decide what to do. The information below provides a brief overview of our services.
What is a SARC?
A Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) is a single location where any victim of Rape or Serious Assault will receive medical care, police intervention (if you choose to report the crime) and various other support services. It is an independent service that operates 24/7 to assist all victims of Rape and Sexual Assault. The SARC is a local partnership between the police, health services and local councils set up to focus on your immediate support needs. The Blue Sky Centre offers the following services:
- Dedicated forensically secure facility with hospital services.
- Availability of forensic examination 24 hours a day within 4 hours of immediate need.
- Option to attend the centre as a self referral and have potential forensic evidence collected and stored at the centre.
- A female medical practitioner wherever possible. Crisis Workers available to provide immediate support to the victim.
- If appropriate the medical practitioner can prescribe emergency contraception and preventative medication for Hep B and HIV.
- Referral pathways to Independent Sexual Violence Advisors and Counselling.
- Signposting and referral to other appropriate statutory and voluntary services.
All our staff are specially trained and will ensure that your needs and concerns are considered and met throughout. Our service is free and confidential. We can help regardless of whether or not you want to report the attack to the Police. Staff can give information and practical help and emotional support to help you after experiencing a sexual assault. If you choose to report an assault, staff will keep you informed about what to expect at every aspect of the process. Staff will listen to you, offer you emotional support and inform you of your choices ensuring you have control at every stage of the process. Staff can provide you with relevant information or refer you to any appropriate support services or arrange access to any medical services you may require.
Telling the Police
It is your decision whether to report an assault to the Police. If you are undecided we can talk with you about your options. If you decide to report an assault to the Police they have specially trained officers who are very experienced and will be able to support you through the reporting process. Reporting the attack as soon as possible does assist the Police, as it provides the opportunity to get physical evidence against your attacker.
Sexual Assault that has occurred in the past
For investigating and prosecuting sexual violence there is no time limit. Therefore if you want to report a sexual assault that occurred in the past you can do this by contacting the police at any time.
The sooner you report a sexual assault to the police the better the chance of them recovering evidence which may assist in future prosecution of the perpetrator. If you have been sexually assaulted you can help preserve evidence by trying to avoid:
- Washing any of your body including your hair and teeth.
- Drinking and eating, including taking non essential medication.
- Having a cigarette.
- Going to the toilet or discarding tampons or sanitary towels.
- Removing or washing any clothing worn at time of incident or afterwards.
Where the sexual assault took place is considered a crime scene. You should avoid if possible moving, washing or destroying anything where the sexual assault took place. Keep any other evidence that may be useful, such as:
- mobile phones
- photographs from mobiles or cameras and any emails.
Where is the Blue Sky Centre?
The Blue Sky Centre is located on the site of George Eliot Hospital Nuneaton. It is easily accessible situated on the A444 outside Nuneaton and only 6 miles from Coventry City Centre. At the hospital go past the main entrance and the building is the last on the left hand side.
The SARC is staffed during normal working hours 9am - 5pm and can be contacted on 01926 562160 but is available for use via a call-out system on a 24/7 basis 365 days of the year by calling 0800 970 0370.
We are based on the George Eliot Hospital site we are about 50 metres past the main entrance on the left hand side. The centre is a single storey building with disabled access. There is free parking just outside the building.
To speak to a member of the team Monday-Friday 9am-5pm call 01926 562160. Out of hours call 0800 970 0370.