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.
A huge thank you to Jo Farhan, one of our amazing volunteers who raised £437 for Devon Rape Crisis!
When not delivering a crucial service for DRCS in North Devon, Jo works as a massage therapist. She organised a Holistic Fayre in Barnstaple on 13th December, gathering together many of her peers from the therapeutic world - all of whom gave their time for free.
As well as offering taster sessions of different holistic therapies, people donated cakes and other items to raise funds for us. We are astounded by the results! A big thank you to everyone in North Devon who made the event a success.
Jo and the other Holistic Therapists from North Devon and the Fayre
On the 2nd December 2012, Devon Rape Crisis held it's second awayday for the whole organisation. This is an opportunity for Patrons, Trustees, Staff and Volunteers to come together, celebrate achievements and plan for the future. Thirty members of the organisation spent a precious Sunday together - working on issues in the morning, followed by a celebratory lunch afterwards. It was particularly exciting to welcome the new cohort of volunteers into the organisation. Twelve women recently completed our three month course on 'Understanding and Working with Sexual Violence' and are about to join the existing volunteers to make a total of 27 committed, skilled, amazing women. Thank you to them for bringing life into the organisation.
Have you heard of the elections for Police and Crime Commissioners? Many people haven't, but the new Police & Crime Commissioners will have a huge influence in deciding future funding for rape, domestic and sexual abuse services, alongside a wide range of other services. If you care about protecting local services, including your local Rape Crisis centre, we ask that you look at the candidates in your area and vote in the Police & Crime Commissioner election on Thursday 15th November 2012.
It takes just three simple steps:
1. Make sure you're registered to vote with your local council.
2. Find out what they're saying about the issues that matter to you - candidates in Devon and Cornwall are:
3. On Thursday 15th November 2012 go out and vote!
Finally, tell people about the elections - not everyone is aware how much influence the Police & Crime Commissioners will have or even know that the elections are happening at all, so spread the word!
Please click on the link below to read more about the candidates:
Devon Rape Crisis Service is really excited to be launching our new email support service. We are particularly pleased because service developed in direct response to women using our services. We were receiving lots of emails asking for support on our administration email address so we decided to set up a dedicated email account in order to offer this. A key feature of our email support service is that it is anonymous; we have a system which removes email addresses so we do not have any identifying details of callers. At the moment emails are answered once a week by a team of trained volunteers but we hope to increase this in the future. There is a full FAQ section on using the email service in the "Our Services" section of the website.
"I think EMDR has allowed me to process things far more than I was expecting, it was more effective than I was anticipating and I was surprised at how much different I felt after having it."
"DRCSAS has made a massive difference, I feel I have found myself – no longer just focused on what happened to me. I deal with things so much better and have a positive outlook on life that wouldn't have happened without DRCSAS."
"I feel positive about the future, being able to control my thoughts and emotions rather than them controlling me. I was sceptical at first wondering if it would work but I am amazed at the results. Would definitely recommend to anyone"