Rape char­ity ‘pe­nalised’ as fund­ing bid re­jected

Argyllshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Laura Maxwell ed­i­[email protected]­gyll­shiread­ver­tiser.co.uk

An Ar­gyll char­ity sup­port­ing peo­ple af­fected by all forms of sex­ual trauma claims it has been over­looked for a share of a £1.5 mil­lion grant from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment.

Ar­gyll and Bute Rape Cri­sis (ABRC) was one of three sup­port or­gan­i­sa­tions re­jected for fund­ing among 17 around Scot­land which did re­ceive cash.

ABRC spokesper­son El­iz­a­beth Thomp­son be­lieves the char­ity missed out as a re­sult of the way the gov­ern­ment de­cides on need – us­ing wait­ing lists. In larger cen­tres, a sur­vivor would come for­ward and be placed on a wait­ing list. The longer the wait­ing list, the greater the need for fund­ing, ac­cord­ing to the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment.

In the ru­ral and dis­persed re­gion of Ar­gyll and Bute, ABRC does not have a wait­ing list due to its prac­tice of del­e­gat­ing sur­vivors to larger cen­tres if they can­not be reached through staff on Bute, Cowal and Campbeltown and vol­un­teers else­where.

ARBC sends un­paid work­ers to pro­mote aware­ness through­out Ar­gyll, but is un­able to pro­vide a post in He­lens­burgh or any of the is­lands.

El­iz­a­beth said: ‘With no money, we can’t send any­one to He­lens­burgh or the is­lands. No-one rais­ing aware­ness means no sur­vivors come for­ward, which means no wait­ing list and now no money. We have man­aged with no ad­di­tional fund­ing from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and yet be­cause we have man­aged the sit­u­a­tion we are pe­nalised.’

A Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment spokesper­son said: ‘Ser­vices such as Ar­gyll and Bute Rape Cri­sis are key in pro­tect­ing the most vul­ner­a­ble women and chil­dren in our so­ci­ety and it is vi­tal those who have ex­pe­ri­enced rape or sex­ual as­sault have ac­cess to the right sup­port. The £1.5 mil­lion we an­nounced in Oc­to­ber tar­geted ar­eas with the long­est wait­ing times to en­sure women are not hav­ing to wait for the ser­vices they need.

‘This sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing for front­line ser­vices re­flects our com­mit­ment to tack­ling vi­o­lence against women and we con­tinue to work with Rape Cri­sis Scot­land to look at our longterm ap­proach and fu­ture fund­ing op­tions so that lo­cal rape cri­sis cen­tres can con­tinue to pro­vide vi­tal ser­vices across the coun­try.’

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