First drop-in centre for sexually assaulted women to be launched on May 26

SINGAPORE - The first drop-in centre for sexually assaulted women here will be launched on May 26, said the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) on Thursday.

At the Sexual Assault Care Centre, victims - including victims of molest and rape - can immediately consult a social worker on-site and receive counselling, without making a prior appointment. It will be located at Aware's office in Dover Crescent, and opens from 10am to 7pm on weekdays.

Aware currently runs a befrienders service, providing counselling and legal advice to victims of sexual assault, but they have to make appointments beforehand. This service will be replaced by the care centre, to better meet their needs immediately.

The helpline (6779-0282) will also extend its operating hours from May 26, running from 10am to midnight, instead of closing at 9.30pm.

"Victims often find it hard to speak up even to friends and family, let alone report to police," said Ms Corinna Lim, executive director of Aware.

"They fear blame, disbelief or lengthy and complicated legal procedures. It is crucial for their recovery that they have access to the informed and non-judgmental support which a specialised service can provide."

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