County rape charity forced to close counselling waiting list - The Evesham Observer

County rape charity forced to close counselling waiting list

Evesham Editorial 30th Jun, 2021   0

A COUNTY charity which provides a vital lifeline for survivors of rape or sexual abuse has been forced to close its counselling waiting list due to a lack of funding.

West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC) blamed the decision on a ‘severe’ lack of funding which means survivors will no longer be accepted from today (Wednesday).

That’s despite the charity currently having more than 430 women, men, and children waiting for counselling support and an estimated 60 new referrals per month.

Most referrals into WMRSASC come from the NHS, GP’s, social care, and the police.

However outside of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office, WMRSASC does not receive any local statutory funding. The advocacy service, which is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner is unaffected.

The charity’s CEO Jocelyn Anderson described the move as a ‘very difficult decision to make’.

“Sexual violence impacts one in five women, one in eight men and one in 20 children. Survivors need access to early intervention by trained sexual violence specialists,” she said.

“We provide a first-class mental health service for survivors of sexual violence and abuse from the age of five years old. However, we do not have the funds to meet the high demand.

“We need your support to change this. If anyone reading this would like to support our work, please do get in touch.”

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