A commitment to funding over three years, instead of one, alongside a 10% average increase for centres will ensure more survivors get the support they need
Today, the government has announced an increase in funding for rape and sexual abuse support services across England and Wales, totalling £24m over 3 years.
Trafford Rape Crisis is pleased to confirm it is among the centres set to receive an increase in sustainable funding from the Ministry of Justice to provide critical services for victims and survivors of rape, sexual violence and child abuse across Trafford and the Greater Manchester area. Our funding will see a 6.6% uplift.
The stability of having funding guaranteed over the coming three years will enable us to guarantee our base level of services and confidently develop a long-term, strategic plan to reach and support more women and girls. In light of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, we are seeing an increased demand for services and our newly-launched counselling service already has a waiting list.
The announcement follows the campaign of survivor Fern Champion, who sought out rape crisis support but was turned away by centres that lacked the funding needed to meet demand on their services. Fern’s petition to Theresa May for increased and sustainable funding has reached over 148,000 signatures.
While welcome, the funding increase doesn’t match the demand placed on centres; the End Violence Against Women coalition estimates that the government needs to provide a minimum of £195 million each year to properly respond to need. This announcement sets out a guarantee of £24m over 3 years, or £8m a year.
Last year, over 150,000 sexual offices were recorded by police nationally; statistics suggest 1 in 5 women experience some form of sexual assault in their lifetime. This is despite many of the crimes going unreported.
Victims and survivors of these crimes have experienced a highly complex trauma and need specialised, tailored and independent support to take back control and begin their journey to recovery.
At Trafford Rape Crisis, our dedicated team offer helpline support, trauma-informed face-to-face counselling services, specialised support for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) survivors, and community-based support. Our practitioners have experience in areas including child sex abuse, ritual abuse and dissociative identity disorder, and all services are free and confidential.
This funding commitment will enable us to continue offering these life-saving services, as well as growing our presence and support offering. This is a stability we haven’t been afforded previously, where funding wasn’t guaranteed year-on-year and limited the long-term strategic capabilities of the centre.
Victims’ Commissioner, Baroness Newlove, said:
“Rape is a horrific crime and has devastating and often, lifelong consequences for its victims. It is important that all victims have access to the support and therapy they need to help them recover. This increase in funding is a step in the right direction in making sure there is sufficient provision to support these victims.
“I am pleased that for the first time, there will be, centrally funded rape support services in all parts of England and Wales. I am particularly pleased to see there will be a significant increase in male support centres.
“As Victims Commissioner, I have been calling for three-year funding packages for frontline victim services. So, it is a positive development that the government will be offering rape support service providers a 3-year funding agreement. It offers providers and their staff greater security, enabling them to focus their energies on supporting victims as opposed to worrying about future funding. I hope it will not be long before this is extended to all victim services.”
At TRC, we are committed to helping all women and girls who have experienced any form of sexual violence at any time in their lives: no matter where, no matter when. Our ethos is centred around 4 core principles: Believe, Empower, Support and Speak out.