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The Duchess of Cornwall visits The Haven Paddington

11 February 2022 - The Havens provide help and support to people who have been raped or sexually assaulted

On Thursday 10 February, The Duchess of Cornwall met with staff at The Haven Paddington, and survivors of sexual assault to hear about their experiences and the vital support and care available at sexual assault referral centres (SARCs).

The visit, which falls during Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, follows the launch of a new NHS campaign to raise awareness of SARCs.

During the tour of the site, Her Royal Highness met with the service delivery manager, along with medical, psychological and therapy staff at The Haven to discuss the care and support they provide to people who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

The team discussed the impact of the Wash Bag Project, a scheme launched by the Duchess that provides a wash bag of toiletries such as shampoo, shower gel, a tooth brush and toothpaste for people to use following a forensic examination.

The Duchess then met individuals with lived experience of using SARCs before unveiling a plaque to mark the visit.

Jo Holberry, Service Delivery Manager at the Haven Paddington, said, “The Duchess is a long standing supporter of people who have been raped or sexually assaulted and it was wonderful to welcome her back to The Haven.

“Our dedicated teams provide immediate care and support to people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. They were delighted to meet the Duchess and explain more about their vital work.”

There are three Havens in London, with locations in Whitechapel, Camberwell and Paddington. The service is run by King’s and jointly funded by NHS England and MOPAC – The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

Sexual assault referral centres provide a safe space and dedicated care, through the NHS, for people who have been raped, sexually assaulted or abused. They offer specialist practical, medical and emotional support, including medical examinations, testing for sexually transmitted infections and access to counselling.

For further information on the work of The Havens visit https://www.thehavens.org.uk/.