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  1. ITV Report

Broadchurch advised by local sexual violence charities

Broadchurch has returned to our screens and, just one episode in, the cast and crew have already been receiving high praise for their portrayal of the harrowing story line.

For the final series, the hard-hitting drama follows the detective duo investigating a serious sexual assault in Dorset.

The storyline has been praised by police and local charities - including the Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (SARSAS).

David Tennant and Olivia Colman play two detectives investigating a serious sexual assault. Credit: ITV

The producers of Broadchurch worked closely with SARSAS to consider how the story would effect survivors who watched the show.

The organisation has praised the programme and the team behind it.

The team behind the hit drama chose to tell the story after numbers of recorded sexual offences have been increasing year on year.

1/5
women in the South West will experience sexual violence in their life
9
woman a day are subjected to serious sexual assaults in Somerset and Avon
The numbers of recorded sexual offences have been increasing year on year. Credit: ITV

SARSAS has seen a massive increase in the number of people requesting help. But funding has not increased enough, resulting in reduced resources, longer waiting lists and less available services for people who need it.

284%
increase in people requesting and receiving help from SARSAS since 2013.
50%
funding increase since 2013

SARSAS is launching a social media campaign due to a shortage in funding.

The campaign encourages people to spread awareness through social media, by asking individuals to tag four of their friends to their fundraising Facebook posts to reflect the shocking one in five statistic and highlight the appeal.

The increase in referrals is very positive in terms of people being supported, however, the lack of matched funding presents a real challenge especially when our focus is on meeting the needs of survivors.

As a result of the increase in people in need of our help, we are running a fundraising campaign appeal to attempt to meet the shortfall in funding. We are determined that survivors know they do not need to suffer alone or in silence, and that there is valuable support available to them to help them rebuild their lives,

– Rowan Miller, Director of SARSAS

Trish's story in Broadchurch may be fictional, but it's hoped for those who do experience sexual assault the series will help victims to come forward and seek the help and specialist support available.

Trish is the victim of a serious sexual assault in the hit drama. Credit: ITV

For more information about SARSAS, how to donate to the SARSAS funding appeal, or how to get support if you are a survivor of sexual violence, visit www.sarsas.org.uk