School of Criminology

Health and health-related agencies

The MESARCH Project

As part of the Multidisciplinary Evaluation of Sexual Assault Referral Centres for Better Health (MESARCH) Dr Emma Sleath is leading a work package comprising a national mapping of SARCS and in-depth case analyses about the work that SARCs do, experiences of staff and other stakeholders, and the role of SARCs in with the wider context of the community response to sexual violence.

This work stream is concerned with different models of service delivery and the range of interventions offered across SARC settings in England. This work involves interviewing individuals who work in the inward (e.g., police) and onward (third sector) referral routes into and out of SARCs, as well as interviewing SARC workers and survivors who have used SARC services. The evidence drawn from this work will seek to understand whether there is an optimum model of the way in which a SARC can work in providing a response to sexual violence.

This infographic was developed with the aim of raising the visibility of sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) in England, and for it to be useful to a whole range of individuals who work in settings where survivors may seek help or healthcare. This infographic derives from data that we gathered directly from SARC managers, in coordination with the MIMOS project, and also from our analysis of NHS England and NHS Improvement data. We know, from our participants in the MESARCH cohort study, just how valuable it is for providers to know what to do and who to contact at the point of disclosure, so please use this infographic to learn more about SARCs and how they can help.

The SARC provision in England infographic launch was hosted by Dr Emma Sleath (University of Leicester) and entitled "The Impact of Covid-19 on staff and services in the sexual violence and abuse sector".

The Global Justice and Forensic Science project

People surrounding a desk looking at an a4 booklet

The Global Justice and Forensic Science research project addresses sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) in low-resource settings by using a novel DNA kit that allows survivors to collect DNA samples under supervision when a full medical examination is not possible. The DNA kits remove issues of DNA degrading and concerns with the chain of custody. The evidence collected from these kits can empower survivors of sexual violence, assist investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators, and improve access to justice globally.

It is an interdisciplinary project between the School of Criminology and the Department of Genetics and Genome Biology. The project has been co-designed and delivered by academics and practitioners in the United Kingdom and Kenya (Wangu Kanja FoundationKenyatta University) and involves close collaboration with the Kenya Survivors of Sexual Violence Network in Kenya. The multisector approach, and engagement directly with survivors of sexual violence, has been crucial for the successful implementation of the project. The findings of this project have allowed evidence-based research to be developed and to have positive impact on the fight against sexual gender-based violence.

Why not watch our "Spotlight on low cost DNA rape kits in Africa" podcast.

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