There were 6,355 survivors on Rape Crisis waiting lists as of March 2018. Demand for support continues to grow.
20% of women and 4% of men have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16. The vast majority of victims (86%) do not report their experiences to the police.
The Istanbul Convention states there should be at least 150 Rape Crisis Centres in England and Wales. There are only 44.
Fern was raped while travelling abroad. She returned to the UK and sought help from her nearest Rape Crisis Centre. Due to the huge levels of demand they were facing and government failures to fund vital services, Fern was turned away and unable to access support. She as lucky enough to get private therapy through work. But she knows there are thousands of survivors who aren’t so lucky. She is calling on the government to support Rape Crisis specialist services.
At EVAW we estimate that the government needs to provide a minimum of £195 million each year to Rape Crisis services to properly respond to need, with a significant proportion ring fenced for specialist BME services. The overall income of the network as it stands is £20 million. Centres constantly face the potential they might have to close as demand far outstrips the minimal funding they receive. Many centres are forced to operate lengthy waiting lists and some have to make the heart-wrenching decision to close their waiting lists altogether.
Listen to Fern tell her story in the video below:
The EVAW 2018 YouGov survey showed that people consider access to counselling more important than access to police and courts process for survivors of rape. Our survey revealed that 60% of people believe that access to free counselling is readily available for rape survivors. This is not the case. In March 2018 there were 6,355 survivors on Rape Crisis waiting lists. A number expected to have increased this year with the ever growing demand for support services
Fern has written to the Prime Minister demanding she properly funds life saving services and to discuss the current appalling lack of support.
Photo Credit Louise Johansson