"The Rape Crisis England and Wales Conference comes once a year; good job too as it is exhausting............... But exhausting for all the right reasons; there was a lot of information to take on, a lot of ideas to reflect on, many new colleagues to meet, projects to plan - and just a touch of staying up too late.
What is really remarkable is to be part of a network of 50 feminist rape crisis services across the country and to have debates about issues within this feminist ethos and understanding. So often, our feminist analysis of sexual violence is a point of contention so to be in a place where it is taken as read is a real relief. The rape crisis movement is strong and what is particularly gratifying is that after a couple of decades of decline, new centres are opening at a steady pace, supported by the government in line with their commitment to dealing with violence against women and girls. Devon has obviously been a recipient of this policy when we were set up by the Ministry of Justice in 2011. Since then a further 6 new centres have opened and an announcement is due very soon to confirm two more - watch this space!
Something else which is good news for Devon Rape Crisis Service is that the South West region is becoming bigger and better, with the four centres in Cornwall, Devon, Bristol and Gloucestershire making stronger links and supported by our amazing Regional Development Worker. It can only be a matter of time before we organise a joint conference or training event .................."