About us

The Blue Sky Centre

(Sexual Assault Referral Centre – SARC) is a Sexual Assault Referral Centre for women, men and children; it recognises all forms of sexual violence including:

  • Rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Rape within marriage
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Trafficking
  • Sexual Exploitation

The Blue Sky Centre staff realise 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 on your future.

What is a SARC?

A Sexual Assault Referral Centre 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. A SARC is an independent service that can operate 24/7 to assist all victims of Rape and Sexual Assault. Our SARC is a local partnership between the police, health services and voluntary organisations set up to focus on your immediate support needs.

Why is it called the Blue Sky Centre?

‘The Blue Sky Centre,’ reflects our aim to help restore a victim’s confidence in the aftermath of sexual violence and assist them to rebuild their lives. It also reflects the fact that the service is open to all, men and women, boys and girls.

How can I get there?

George Eliot Hospital is easily accessible, situated on the A444 between Bedworth and Nuneaton, 3 miles from the Coventry boundary and only 6 miles from Coventry City Centre. For a map of the location and for a link to information regarding public transport please visit the Contact Us section of this website.

What times will it be open?

The SARC will usually be staffed during normal working hours but will be available for use via a call-out system on a 24/7 basis 365 days of the year.

Does it cost anything?

No. This is a service for the people of Coventry and Warwickshire that is funded by a partnership between Coventry City Council, Coventry NHS, Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire NHS and Warwickshire Police.

Is it only for police cases?

No. Anyone who has been attacked sexually in Coventry, Warwickshire or anywhere else can access the SARC whether or not they want to involve the police and receive exactly the same range of services.

How do I contact the SARC?

The SARC telephone number is 02476 865505. You can call and discuss your circumstances with us and we will advise you about the most appropriate next steps which may be an appointment at the SARC for a forensic examination or a referral to other services that can help you. Whilst you can attend the Centre without an appointment we would not be able to see you immediately if both wings are already in use, so prior contact is recommended by calling us.

Who will I see?

During normal working hours the SARC will be staffed by a Manager and Deputy Manager/Administrator. Each client who visits the SARC will see the on duty Crisis Worker, a person trained to look after their needs and support them throughout their time at the SARC. All of our Crisis Workers are female but there is a male member of staff trained in Crisis Work should a male victim prefer this. The Crisis Worker will be with you if you decide to undergo a medical examination. If you have reported the matter to the police the specially trained officer who first dealt with you is also likely to remain with you as long as you want them to. If you want to see a medical professional the SARC will provide a trained, experienced and caring practitioner to provide this service for you.

All our members of staff are specially trained and will ensure that your needs and concerns are considered and met throughout. 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.

Our Services:

The Blue Sky Centre offers the following services:

  • Dedicated forensically secure facility integrated with hospital services.
  • Availability of forensic examination 24 hours a day within 4 hours of immediate need.
  • Self referrals can be made.
  • Forensic Results can be stored.
  • A female medical practitioner wherever possible.
  • Crisis workers available to provide immediate support to the victim.
  • Immediate access to emergency contraception and drugs to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.
  • Referral pathways to Independent Sexual Violence Advisors.
  • Signposting and referral to other appropriate statutory and voluntary services.

What is a Crisis Worker and what can they do for me?

The Crisis worker is specially trained and will ensure that your needs and concerns are considered and met throughout. The Crisis Worker is there for you. From the moment that you arrive at The Blue Sky Centre the Crisis Worker will be your advisor and support.

The Crisis Worker will be one of the first members of staff you meet and they understand you may not be able to take in what is happening due to the major trauma or personal crisis you will have experienced.  The Crisis Worker will provide you with the information you need and will reassure and support your during your time in the Blue Sky Centre.

The Crisis Worker will fully explain all your options and ensure that you are able to make informed choices at your own pace.  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.

Our Crisis Workers have received specialist training and will answer any questions and listen to any concerns you may have. The Crisis Worker will give you time to think about your options to ensure you make the right choices for you.  If you choose to report to the Police the Crisis worker will explain the process to you and can be with you throughout the Forensic Medical Examination.

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.

The Crisis Workers are available 24hours per day 7 days a week.

Will I have to wait in a public waiting room?

No. The SARC will be very discreet. It will have separate wings for adults and children with separate waiting areas for adults, young children and older children with a range of entertainment and reading materials appropriate to the age. We have designed the waiting areas to be as comfortable and relaxing as possible whilst recognizing the need to avoid contamination of evidence. The SARC will only see one client at a time in either wing. We will look after you and make you a hot drink. After an examination there are comfortable and well-appointed shower facilities and we will provide you with a personal toiletry set, towels, robes and replacement clothing (if appropriate). After you have showered and changed you can relax in a more comfortable lounge area before going home or if you need to wait for anything else to be arranged such as an interview or a referral to be made to other services.

Annual Report 13/14

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