Rape Crisis (England and Wales) welcomes the Rape Support Fund announced today for existing Rape Crisis Services. It has long been our aim to achieve a level of stability for our member Rape Crisis Centres.
This 3 year fund is crucial to enable centres to provide support to survivors and we hope the funding ease the pressure on local centres at a time when statutory and grant funding across England & Wales is stretched. Although this will not cover all the costs of service delivery, it will go a long way to prevent closures and enable Rape Crisis Centres to focus on delivering services and further fundraising.
We look forward to a time when every woman and girl who has experienced sexual violence has access to a specialist Rape Crisis Centre (RCC) in their own locale, as only then can we be assured that victims and survivors receive the care and support they deserve.
More information and the full announcement, with statements from the Justice Secretary Ken Clarke and, Home Secretary Theresa May, is available on the Ministry of Justice website.
Below is a Press Release from End Violence Against Women Coalition:
Funding for Rape Crisis Centres welcomed by women’s groups
The End Violence Against Women Coalition has welcomed today’s announcement by Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke of funding for Rape Crisis Centres of £10.5 million over next three years.
Professor Liz Kelly, Chair of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said:
“For decades, Rape Crisis Centres have provided a vital life-line, not only for women who have been recently sexually assaulted but adult women survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The 2009 End Violence Against Women Coalition and Equality and Human Rights Commission 'Map of Gaps' report revealed a stark picture of Rape Crisis provision in Britain. Nearly 9 out of 10 (87.7%) of local authorities in Britain did not have a Rape Crisis Centre, leaving a significant number of women who have experienced sexual violence without essential care and support. Our research also indicated that without additional and stable funding, nearly 40 percent of services feared closure.
The funding announced by the Justice Secretary comes at a critical time to stabilise the sector and prevent closures. It is, however only the first step towards ensuring that all women in Britain receive the care and support they are entitled to.”
Professor Liz Kelly concluded:
“We call on the government to make good its commitments on violence against women by ensuring adequate funding for all specialist women’s services in the community, particularly services for Black Minority Ethnic women, which continue to be chronically neglected and under-resourced.”