Monday 27 February 2023
The Committee for Home Affairs is delighted to be able to announce that it has appointed Charlie Cox as the manager of the island's Sexual Assault Referral Centre.
Work is now well underway to open a pilot SARC in Guernsey later this year, to create a place that victims of sexual assault can go for support and help that isn't directly linked to the criminal justice system.
It has been a priority for the Committee this term, and the appointment of Ms Cox - who will be leaving her current role at the Youth Commission - is a key milestone in the preparatory work.
Ms Cox said:
"I was driven into a career in the third sector due to the ability to make an impact on the lives of people who live in our community, and I see the same opportunity in the States of Guernsey. This role has the same appeal to me as my previous roles with the Samaritans and the Youth Commission: it is a chance for me to help drive forwards an incredibly important agenda and help ensure people who are sexually assaulted have access to the right support at the right time.
"I am already grateful to see that there is huge political support from the Committee forHome Affairs for this project, and it also aligns with the hard work of individuals In our community. My aim will be to create pathways with support of other services and charities in the Bailiwick to give people a choice about what their journey looks like when it comes to making a report of an incident or seeking help afterwards."
While Ms Cox formally starts her new role on the 6th March, she has already been making contact with key members of the community to build vital multi-agency connections.
The SARC manager role will establish pathways for those who have been sexually assaulted as well as helping to raise awareness in the community. Ms Cox intends to reach out to those who have accessed services (or chosen not to) following an incident to hear their stories, learn what helped them and what didn't, and try to put their voices at the heart of the new service's design going forwards.
She is encouraging islanders with these experiences to reach out to her when she has taken the post in March.
Deputy Rob Prow, President of the Committee for Home Affairs, said:
"The Committee has announced on many occasions that the development of a SARC has been a key priority this term. It is very much part of the package within our Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy, agreed by the States last year. The Centre will be a place for victims of sexual assault to come forward for help and support and without having to report incidents of sexual violence directly to the police, which we understand can sometimes be daunting. Ms Cox's appointment is extremely important in the development of the SARC and making it operational and will undoubtedly go further in energising this work, as she brings very valuable experience with her. We very much look forward to working with her going forward."