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"We were delighted to be invited down to International Dance supplies in Newton Abbot this month. The Chief Executive, Anne Walker, is one of our patrons and very kindly put our name forward to become their charity of the year.

Two charities were picked out of the hat to go into the 'final' - and we were one of them. Linda Regan our Chair and Fee Scott, Service Manager went down to give a presentation to the whole staff team and try to persuade them to vote for us. We were well received but unfortunately, the staff vote was very close and the eventual winner was Macmillan Cancer Nurses. We were obviously disappointed but still glad of the opportunity to talk about our work, and we know how important this is. Anne Walker is an inspiration to us and now uses every opportunity to bring the topic of sexual violence into conversations she has. We know that if we are to break the stigma, shame and taboo around rape and sexual violence, we need to be having regular, matter of fact conversations to counter many of the stories in the media which often do little than propagate the tired old myths.

But the experience also brought the challenges of fundraising to the fore for us. Rape is not a popular topic. Many people feel embarrassed talking about it. It is easier for people to give money to topics they feel comfortable with. It is really no surprise that one of the richest charities in the country is the Donkey Sanctuary! It will remain a challenge to DRCS to raise funds through donations, supermarkets or businesses whilst the stigma and myths surrounding rape continues. But conversely, as long as the societal response to rape continues in the same way - the demand for our services will remain high.

If you are reading this and it resonates with you - perhaps you'd like to make a one off or regular donation. If so, there is a page on our website with information on all the ways you can do this".

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