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Last Updated: Friday, 12 March, 2004, 11:08 GMT
Funding for rape crisis centres
Woman
The centres offer advice and help to victims of sexual assault
Victims of sexual assault are to gain from funding that will help boost care and counselling at two rape centres.

The region's two Reach Centres (Rape, Examination, Advice, Counselling and Help) have been given 16,500.

It is part of a government drive to improve support for victims of sexual crime.

Jackie Clark, Reach Manager said: "This funding has paid for vital medical equipment which will help us deliver the very best care to victims."

Trained staff

Any person over the age of 16, living in the Northumberland or Tyne and Wear area, who has been raped or sexually assaulted, can visit a Reach Centre.

The centres cater for both men and women, and staff are trained in dealing with the effects of rape and sexual assault on both sexes.

Ms Clark, added: "The equipment will be available in both of the region's dedicated REACH facilities - at The Rhona Cross Centre, Newcastle and Sunderland Royal Hospital, Sunderland.

Reach Manager, Jackie Clark
Reach Manager, Jackie Clark, welcomed the money

"All of the force's medical examiners have been trained to use the equipment which ensures that Northumbria Police and the Primary Care Trust can meet the increasing demands made on the centres."

A total of 250,000 has been given to police forces across the country and will mean six new centres will be able to open their doors later this year, three of the seven existing centres will also be able to improve their services to victims.

Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said: "Rape is an horrendous crime, which deeply affects the lives of victims and their families, and which inspires fear in our communities.

"The government is committed, as part of its national strategy for victims and witnesses, to support victims of sexual crime and the development of sexual assault referral centres is a vital part of this."




SEE ALSO:
Funding for rape crisis centres
23 Jan 04  |  Scotland


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