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Boost for vital women's services after funding windfall

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

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Two vital services for women affected by sexual violence in Devon and Cornwall have been awarded funding by the Ministry of Justice for the next two years.

Devon Rape Crisis Service and the Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (WRSAC) in Bodmin have both been given continued funding of £60,00- per year until 2016 from the national Rape Support Fund.

This funding recognises the importance of specialist support services to women who have experienced rape, childhood sexual abuse or other forms of sexual violence.

It is also an acknowledgement of the skills contained within both organisations, who have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their service provision in order to be commissioned by the Ministry of Justice.

The fact that both agencies have recently met the Rape Crisis National Service Standards is further evidence of the professionalism within the sector, said Fee (corr) Scott, service manager of Devon Rape Crisis Service.

“We are delighted to be commissioned by the Ministry of Justice to deliver vital services to women across Devon and Torbay,” she said.

“We know how much demand there is for our support services and this funding allows for a degree of certainty for the next two years”

Both organisations operate a telephone helpline service as well as ongoing emotional, practical and advocacy support across a wide geographical area in both counties and support hundreds of women every year.

Despite being awarded the funding, WRSAC and Devon Rape Crisis sounded a note of caution.

Maggie Parks, chief executive of the Bodmin centre, said rising demand meant they still needed more funding.

“The availability of services such as ours is vital if we are to support women to take back control over their lives.

“ There is an immense level of need across the peninsula and the sums awarded by the Ministry of Justice, while important, represent only a percentage of the overall cost of running our services and matched funding by local commissioners is needed if we are to meet the needs of all women”

*Devon Rape Crisis can be contacted on 01392 204174 and support@devonrapecrisis.org.uk

"WRSAC at Bodmin can be contacted on 01208 77099

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