We were delighted to receive a visit from Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall on 16th July.
She came to our office and spent time talking to service users, staff, volunteers, trustees and patrons (pictured).
She also met with friends and supporters of DRCS including the Lord Mayor of Exeter, The Leader of Devon County Council, the Chairman of Torbay Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The visit was a great honour for us and we were all struck by The Duchess of Cornwall's understanding and sensitivity around the issues of sexual violence.
Please click on the link below which details the discussions Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, had in parliament last Tuesday. She talked about consent, pornography and how proud she is to be a Patron for Devon Rape Crisis Service.
Our Awayday took place on 9th June 2013 at the Citygate Hotel, Exeter. It was a fantastic day and gave us a chance to welcome our new Patron, Professor Marianne Hester. Also it was great to have two more of our Patrons attend, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP and Canon Anna Norman-Walker. It was a time where all Staff, Trustees, Volunteers and Patrons worked together on our first Annual Report. A great day was had by all.
We were at the Respect Festival on the 1st and 2nd June. Thank you to everyone who stopped by.
Devon Rape Crisis Service is very pleased to be supporting Dreadnought South West.
We all owe a debt to the Suffrage movement, without which our services would surely not be here. The movement in the early twentieth century opened up the space for second wave feminism in the 1970's and it was through this second wave that women started to talk about common experiences and organise to address them.
Rape Crisis centres were born of this rich understanding of the oppression of sexual violence. So, of course we want to join with Dreadnought South West in recognising the first steps towards emancipation and empowerment.
The journey this year follows the original journey of a group of women walking from Land's End to London in 1913 and this time it is accompanied by a brand new play to commemorate the centenary.
You can see the play, 'Oxygen' in 23 venues along the route and we encourage you to go along and be part of this very special project.
Dates and contact details are on the flyer which you can view by clicking the link below.
Rape Crisis England and Wales is organising a petition to the Home Office to secure funding for a national Helpline for rape and sexual violence.
There is an existing helpline, run by a centre in Croydon but this receives no national funding and struggles to find funds for the service.
The Home Office funds other national helplines, for example, for domestic violence - but not for sexual violence.
Please print off the petition, sign it and get it signed by your friends, partners, colleagues, family members and send it on to Devon Rape Crisis at PO Box 765, Exeter, EX1 9TG.
Professor Marianne Hester
Professor Marianne Hester OBE (MA Oxon, Phd Leeds) is the Head of the Centre for Gender and Violence Research at the school for Policy Studies, University of Bristol and Patron of South Tyneside Women's Aid. She has been involved in the Rape Crisis Movement in the UK for many years and has worked in close collaboration with organisations such as Women's Aid that provide services to women and children experiencing domestic violence. She was involved with Rape Crisis in Leeds from 1979 and with Rape Crisis in Exeter from 1989 to approx 1994.
"Meeting the Minister of Justice"
Linda Regan, the Chair and Fee Scott, Service Manager had a productive meeting with Chris Grayling, Minister for Justice on 31st January 2013, organised by our wonderful patron, Sarah Wollaston MP. It was the Ministry that gave Devon Rape Crisis start-up funding in 2011 and still part funds the organisation so it was a good time to give the Minister an update on our progress. He was very impressed with how we had set up a new service from scratch and was genuinely interested in how our services are organised and delivered. He was particularly interested in the low reporting rates of sexual violence and keen on gaining our advice on the measures needed to help women feel more confident about reporting these crimes.
"I feel like I have a much calmer outlook in how I deal with difficult emotions. It has given me space to process my experiences safely."
"It helped me move forward. I have been able to leave my house and go out. I can now do things I never thought I would be able to do again."
"Helped to make sense of things and re-assurance that just because he was found not guilty doesn't mean it didn't happen."