Ar­gyll Rape Cri­sis is dis­crim­i­nated against

Campbeltown Courier - - NEWS - by Mark Davey [email protected]­bel­town­

An Camp­bel­town in­de­pen­dent ad­vo­cate has hit out at dis­crim­i­na­tory Scot­tish gov­ern­ment fund­ing for rape cri­sis cen­tres. MAKI sup­port and ad­vo­cacy worker, Ailsa Wil­son, said the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has re­cently given 14 cen­tres across Scot­land ad­di­tional fund­ing of £1.5 mil­lion but ex­cluded her own – Ar­gyll and Bute Rape Cri­sis – as well as Western Isles and Orkney. As The 16 Days of Ac­tion, an in­ter­na­tional cam­paign to raise aware­ness of vi­o­lence against women, started last Sun­day, Ms Wil­son said: ‘The ra­tio­nal was based solely on wait­ing lists. ‘We do not have a wait­ing list – we can­not get fund­ing for a He­lens­burgh worker and the is­lands so we pro­vide no ser­vice, hence no ser­vice no wait­ing list; we raised money from the Volant Trust to pro­vide a 12-hour worker in Cowal, which fin­ishes in De­cem­ber 2019; Robert­son Trust gives 14 hours to Camp­bel­town, de­pen­dent on match fund­ing and re­cently Bute Fam­ily Trust added six hours on Bute for six months. ‘Our work­ers do un­paid hours to see sur­vivors. ‘Clients have in­creased 20 per cent in the last year and sex­ual crimes in­creased by 13 per cent in Scot­land. ‘In Ar­gyll and Bute, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est fig­ures from Po­lice Scot­land, there has been a year-on-year in­crease of 38 per cent. ‘We have man­aged with no ad­di­tional fund­ing from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and yet be­cause we have manged the sit­u­a­tion we are pe­nalised. Ms Wil­son added that wait­ing lists were not a fair in­di­ca­tor for many rea­sons, ex­plain­ing that ru­ral Rape Cri­sis cen­tres have dif­fer­ent chal­lenges – a lot of the work is de­vel­op­men­tal to en­able sur­vivors to a come for­ward by chal­leng­ing ru­ral at­ti­tudes and by pro­vid­ing sup­port. This in­creases premises costs and staff travel. In ad­di­tion, sur­vivors in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties have many ob­sta­cles to sur­mount be­fore they come for­ward. Ms Wil­son added: ‘Ev­ery­one knows ev­ery­one so there is a lack of anonymity. ‘The per­pe­tra­tor can be well known and liked, or re­lated to some­one in the vil­lage, the vic­tim can be­come the fo­cus of lo­cal gos­sip and at­ti­tudes may be out­dated. ‘These can all con­trib­ute to feel­ings of low con­fi­dence, self-es­teem and anx­i­ety, and de­vel­op­ment is crit­i­cal to over­come this but that takes time and re­sources. ‘In ad­di­tion, it is now con­tribut­ing to us be­ing un­able to get fund­ing from other fun­ders as there is a per­cep­tion we now have fund­ing.’ Ar­gyll and Bute Rape Cri­sis of­fers sup­port to men, women, les­bian, gay and trans­gen­der peo­ple from the age of 12 to 60+ in Camp­bel­town and through­out Ar­gyll and Bute Any­one who needs help or sup­port can call the helpline on 0800 121 4685 or go to the web­site at: www.rapecri­sis­cen­tre-ar­­vivors. php

The 16 Days of Ac­tion cam­paign is sup­ported by the Kin­tyre Link Club which has put bows and pos­i­tive mes­sages around the town.

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