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Last Updated: Friday, 29 August, 2003, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Cash boost for sex abuse project
Victim generic
More than 230 calls were received from victims last year
Vital funding for a rape crisis line in north Wales means a project focussing on sexual abuse with children can now go ahead.

The North Wales Rape Crisis Line based in Bangor had been facing possible closure.

It has now won a reprieve after receiving almost £100,000 in grant aid over the next three years.

More than half the money - £54,000 of National Lottery cash from the Community Fund - will be spent on a project going into schools to help youngsters with their fears and understanding of abuse.

I also had to go part-time for three months because the money was not there
Project worker Janet Owen
Drama workshops and poster creation will be some ways the charity, which is working with Childline Cymru, helps children come to terms with abuse they have suffered.

"What we're hoping is that children will talk about their personal feelings - and come to terms with something which parents very often make a taboo subject," explained crisis line worker Janet Owen.

Information collated in the schools project will then be used to see if there is any regional pattern for rape and abuse among children.

Telephone

The North Wales Rape Crisis Line is the biggest organisation of its kind in Wales, with one worker and 16 volunteers who take calls from rape victims five days a week.

More than 230 victims have received counselling during the last year, most from north Wales but some from as far away as Scotland.

Mount Kilimanjaro
A hike up Mount Kilimanjaro raised £1000 for the crisis line
As well as being available at the end of a telephone, face-to-face interviews are set up at centres across north Wales, including Rhuddlan and Pwllheli.

The remaining grant aid - nearly £44,000 from the Volunteering in Wales fund - will go to secure the wages of Mrs Owen over the next three years.

"It's a great relief and we have had tremendous help from AM Ieuan Wyn Jones and Conwy MP Betty Williams," said Mrs Owen.

In June she did a sponsored hike up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for her husband Aled's 50th birthday to raise money for the crisis line.

"Last year I filled in 14 applications for funding - 11 of which were rejected.

"And I also had to go part-time for three months because the money was not there."

Ieuan Wyn Jones, the AM for Ynys Môn, said the project did "vitally important work for very vulnerable people".

"With this money they will be able to expand their services, and train more volunteers who will be able to advise people at a particularly difficult period in their lives."

The North Wales Rape Crisis Line is open on 01248 354885 Monday to Friday between 1800 and 2100 BST. It is also open on Wednesdays from 0900 to 1200 BST, and on Tuesdays from 1300 to 1600.


SEE ALSO:
Rape helpline faces cash crisis
14 May 03  |  North West Wales
Trauma of reporting rape
18 Jul 03  |  UK


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