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Last Updated: Friday, 23 January, 2004, 13:54 GMT
Funding for rape crisis centres
Helpline worker
Services are to receive government funding
Communities Minister Margaret Curran has pledged cash for services helping victims of rape and other sex attacks.

The Scottish Executive said the services would receive 1.76m and it was the first time they have benefited from government funding

Ms Curran was visiting the Women's Resource Centre in Glasgow.

Eight rape crisis centres exist in Scotland covering the areas around Ayr, Fife, Aberdeen, Stirling, Dumfries, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Demand for services is high, and the number of rapes or attempted rapes reported to police in Scotland increased by 21% to nearly 1,000 in 2002.

Support is vital in helping people recover and rebuild their lives when they have suffered like this
Margaret Curran
Communities Minister
Offices, though, are poorly resourced and support groups claim they regularly struggle to maintain their services.

"Real need"

Rape Crisis Scotland spokesperson, Sandy Brindley, said: "The Aberdeen centre only receives around 5,500 core funding a year and has to rely on donations, which gives some idea of the problems our centres face."

Green MSP for North East Scotland, Shiona Baird, had asked for more resources to be given to rape and sexual violence services, and welcomed the cash lift.

She said: "This is a clear recognition by the executive of the very real need for these services."

Ms Curran said: "Rape and sexual abuse are abhorrent crimes and this new funding will transform the support services currently on offer in Scotland.

"Support is vital in helping people recover and rebuild their lives when they have suffered like this."

Outer Hebrides

She added: "The services currently on offer are either patchy or non-existent and I will address this problem so that people get the advice and support they need and deserve, wherever they live."

It is hoped the funding will stabilise and provide consistency in the services the centres provide, as well as developing support units in areas where services are non-existent.


SEE ALSO:
Cash boost for sex abuse project
29 Aug 03  |  North West Wales
Rape helpline faces cash crisis
14 May 03  |  North West Wales
Abuse campaign to be widened
19 Feb 03  |  Scotland
New rape law 'will protect victims'
01 Nov 02  |  Scotland


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