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19 March 2008

The campaign goes on

£1 million in government funding is a small but significant victory for Rape Crisis

By Simon Hooper

The news that the government has allocated £1 million in funding to keep Rape Crisis centres open in England and Wales is a very welcome success for newstatesman.com’s Rape Crisis Campaign.

For many years, Rape Crisis has defied chronic under-funding to provide important support to victims of sexual violence. As Dr. Nicole Westmarland, Chair of Rape Crisis for England and Wales, tells newstatesman.com, Tuesday’s announcement by women’s minister Harriet Harman marked a “highly significant” and welcome development in the group’s ongoing struggle for the resources it needs to do that job properly. Click here to read more reaction

But, as others such as Jo Wood of Rape Crisis in Merseyside have told us, £1 million amounts to little more than a stopgap measure which, while keeping centres open in the short-term, fails to address the lack of resources those centres need to secure their long-term futures.

Just £6 million from the government would allow Rape Crisis not just to avoid further closures but to start opening new centres as well. At newstatesman.com, we will continue to call for proper funding for the group until that goal is achieved.

For newstatesman.com’s full coverage of this issue, click here.

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And if you haven’t signed it yet, make sure you add your name to our Downing Street petition and write to your MP to ensure the long-term funds needed by Rape Crisis are made available.

Simon Hooper, newstatesman.com

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