Rowan Centre supports over 2,000 people since opening

Dr Alison Livingstone, Northern Trust Consultant Paediatrician; Marie Roulston, Northern Trust Executive Director of Social Work; Karen Douglas, Service Manager for The Rowan; Dr Olive Buckley, Clinical Director for The Rowan; Koulla Yiasouma, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People; Inspector Anne Marks and Detective Chief Inspector Stevie Wilson, Police Service of Northern Ireland
Dr Alison Livingstone, Northern Trust Consultant Paediatrician; Marie Roulston, Northern Trust Executive Director of Social Work; Karen Douglas, Service Manager for The Rowan; Dr Olive Buckley, Clinical Director for The Rowan; Koulla Yiasouma, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People; Inspector Anne Marks and Detective Chief Inspector Stevie Wilson, Police Service of Northern Ireland

Over 2,000 people have received support from The Rowan Sexual Assault Referral Centre since it opened three years ago.

The unit, which is managed by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust opened in 2013 providing a one-stop location for victims who have experienced sexual assault, whether recently or in the past.

Over the last three years, 37% of those attending The Rowan were children and young people and 63% were adults.

The team has given support to children under one year of age right up to older people in their late 90s.

A comprehensive and co-ordinated package of care is provided to promote recovery and wellbeing with follow-up support and a 24 hour advice and information line.

Services are provided for all victims, including men, regardless of age, ethnicity, ability or sexual orientation. Support can also be given to service users in making a report to the police if they wish, either at the time of the assault or at a later date.

Karen Douglas, Service Manager for the Rowan, said: “At The Rowan we understand the devastation sexual violence can have on the lives of individuals and their families.

“We are pleased that for three years those who have accessed our services have been helped by the care they received.

“We want to ensure that everyone affected by sexual violence knows The Rowan is here to help.”

Helping to mark the three year anniversary, Koulla Yiasouma, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People and Mairead McCafferty, Chief Executive of NICCY recently visited The Rowan and had an opportunity to see the facilities and hear about the good work there.

Koulla said: “ Children and adults come to The Rowan during what is often the worst time in their lives and they are met with care and professionalism.

“I am so pleased that we are here today to celebrate and recognise the achievements of The Rowan and particularly to thank the staff.”

The Rowan can be contacted via the free helpline number 24 hours a day on 0800 389 4424.