Centre for rape victims is opened in Norwich
A centre to help victims of rape and serious sexual assault in Norfolk has been opened.
The Harbour Sexual Assault Referral Centre has opened in a secret location in Norwich.
It aims to enable victims to report their abuse and undergo medical examinations without necessarily prompting a police investigation.
It also has facilities for medical and forensic examinations and video interviewing.
It is being supported by Norfolk Police, NHS Norfolk and Great Yarmouth and Waveney NHS Trust.
Health experts and police officers hope the "self-referral" route will encourage those who may feel too afraid to approach the police to at least seek help and advice.
Det Insp Debbie Gunnill, of Norfolk Police, said: "It can be extremely difficult for someone to open up to the police, especially if there are family members involved, there is often a stigma attached."
The Harbour Centre is one of more than 30 such facilities across the UK.
It aims to provide a non-judgmental service regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion, age, disability, or background.
Harbour Centre manager Diana Baxter said: "Rape and sexual assault can have a devastating impact on victims and their families and we hope the centre will help provide the necessary support and care they fully deserve."