POLICE are urging victims of sexual abuse to report assaults.

Essex Police are trying to raise awareness about different types of violence against women and girls.

Officers are staging 16 days of action as part of the White Ribbon Day initiative.

A force spokesman said: “We know that, like a lot of crime, sexual abuse is underreported. When you’re ready to come forward, our specialist officers are here to support you.

“These crimes can be committed against anyone – of any age, gender identity and sexuality – and we have a number of different teams to investigate, all trained in supporting victims of some of the most horrific crimes.”

There are Adult and Child Sexual Abuse Investigation Teams in the north and south of the county, and Quest detectives who investigate historic child sex abuse allegations.

The force’s police online investigation team investigates child pornography and works closely with the National Crime Agency.

Assistant Chief Constable Kevin Baldwin, who leads the force’s public protection teams, said: “It’s really important that the people of Essex know about the teams we have in place across the force.

“We have teams who support victims of domestic abuse, and a range of teams who work with victims of sexual abuse. This includes working with adult victims, child victims, and investigating non-recent incidents which can span across years or even decades.

“Our specialist teams within Essex Police will always be here to support you.

“Sadly, we know that many people do not feel comfortable reporting these offences to the police. I want you to be reassured that my teams are specially trained to work with survivors of abuse, whether it was sexual, physical or psychological.

“We know that recounting these experiences can be painful, and our officers and staff will be here to listen when you are ready.

“Last month, we obtained justice for a child who was sexually abused over the course of two years by jailing her abuser for six years.

“Our Quest team have also secured the conviction of a man who indecently assaulted a woman in the 1990s.”

“If you have been the victim of crime, I’d urge you to report it to us. We want to help get justice for you, just as we have for others.”