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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Final plea to First Minister over Rape Crisis centres

 

Up to 30 jobs could be under threat amid a funding cut.

Scotland’s First Minister has been told he must act to save almost 30 Rape Crisis jobs amid feats of vital funding cuts by the Scottish Government. 

Labour MSP Monica Lennon warned Humza Yousaf after Rape Crisis Scotland said last year that job losses could be "catastrophic" unless funding is extended.

In 2021 the Scottish Government introduced a grant to cut waiting lists, in an attempt to deal with huge backlogs. 

If the money is not extended beyond March 2024, 28 support workers could lose their jobs with Rape Crisis centres. 

The Central Scotland MSP has now told the Daily Record that survivors will be failed by the government if an emergency waiting list fund is ditched.

She told the newpaper: “Rape survivors rely on specialist workers to help them cope with the trauma of sexual violence.

“The Scottish Government must not abandon the women and girls who receive lifeline support from Rape Crisis Centres across Scotland.

“If the funding pot to bring down waiting lists is not continued beyond March 2024, 28 Rape Crisis Support Workers will lose their jobs and lives will be at risk.

“This public health emergency can be averted at the stroke of a ministerial pen.

“Survivors of sexual assault already wait too long for support, and without sustainable funding delays will increase.

“The First Minister will not be forgiven by rape survivors and their families if he fails to act.”

Rape Crisis Scotland was awarded over £1.1million in 2021 to tackle waiting lists, with the grant paying for staffing and allowing the organisation to respond to an increase in demand. 

Deputy First Minister Shona Robison has warned of potential cuts ahead of this month’s Scottish budget. 

Chief Executive of Rape Crisis Scotland Sandy Brindley told the Record: “We hear again and again from survivors just how valuable support services were to them when they needed them. It’s essential that when survivors do reach out for support, that support is available to them.

“When Rape Crisis services aren’t able to offer immediate support, this can have a knock-on effect on NHS and other public services.

“We hear a lot of welcome words from politicians and decision makers about how valuable our services are.

“We need to see those words being matched with meaningful, long-term funding so that staff and survivors can be assured that we can continue to deliver these services for years to come.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson told the newspaper: “Rape Crisis Scotland and other frontline services are crucial which is why we are investing record levels of funding to support them. This includes over £5 million for the Rape Crisis network through our £19 million Delivering Equally Safe fund.

“We also continue to focus on our Equally Safe strategy, jointly owned with COSLA that is aimed at early intervention, prevention and support services with the goal to eradicate violence against women and girls.”

 

Comments

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charles meehan
3 months ago

Perhaps OSCR should have powers similar to financial regulators to monitor the financial viability of social charities and in the event of forseeable non-sustainability oversee the process of merger or run off