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Rape Crisis Scotland launches new support service

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New support service launches for LGBTI community

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people (LGBTI) who need support in rape cases can now seek help from specially trained workers.

The service, operated by Rape Crisis Scotland, launched this week and will operate on Mondays and Thursdays, between 7pm and midnight.

Rape Crisis Scotland national co-ordinator, Sandy Brindley said: "We know that LGBTI survivors can experience unique stresses following sexual violence, which can make it even more difficult to report what has happened to them or to come forward and seek help.

"With our new resources and helpline service, Rape Crisis Scotland is taking proactive steps to overcome these barriers.

"We want to highlight the fact that our support is fully inclusive, and able to respond to all survivors, whatever their gender identity or sexual orientation."

New information for LGBTI survivors is also being made available in both print and digital formats.

James Morton, of Scottish Transgender Alliance, said: "Rape Crisis Scotland's new resource and helpline service are really important ways of reassuring LGBTI people that they will receive inclusive and empathetic support.

Research indicates that trans people are at particular risk of sexual assault

"Our research indicates that trans people are at particular risk of sexual assault as a form of transphobic hate crime and often fear further humiliation if they seek help.

"Intersex people are born with physical bodies which are not clearly male or female and are at particular risk of childhood abuse trauma from coercive medical interventions on their genitals. Feelings of shame about having bodies which vary from societal expectations can hinder intersex people from seeking help.

"Rape Crisis Scotland's work demonstrating their awareness of these issues will hopefully encourage more survivors to reach out for support."

The number to call is 08088 010302.