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Rape: Victim Support Schemes

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many rape crisis centres have closed in each of the last five years; how much has been spent on (a) services for rape victims and (b) rape crisis centres in each of the last five years; what steps she is taking to increase the (i) capacity and (ii) financial stability of rape crisis centres; and if she will make a statement. (255614)

The Government do not record information on rape crisis centre closures. However information provided by Rape Crisis England and Wales in 2008 stated that eight centres had closed in the previous three years with a further two centres closing temporarily, before re-opening. In March 2008 the Minister for Women, Harriet Harman announced a special fund to prevent the closure of at-risk rape crisis centres. Since that time, no centres have closed.

The following table summarises total Government funding to (a) services for rape victims, and (b) rape crisis centres (identified as affiliated to Rape Crisis England and Wales in the given year) in each of the last five years. The figures in the table represent funding streams from across Government.

£

2008-09

2007-08

2006-07

2005-06

2004-05

(a) Total funding on services for rape victims

3,364, 247

2,564, 664

1,603, 242

1,908, 657

943,828

(b) Total funding for rape crisis centres only

1,686, 345

844,562

673,538

473,717

199,270

The Government have invested around £11 million over the last five years in specialist services for victims of sexual violence; this is in addition to funding provided locally. Most of this funding has come from the Victims. Fund.

The Government have taken steps to build the capacity and sustainability of organisations working with victims of rape and sexual violence and to raise the issue of sexual violence locally. This has included providing £150,000 core funding to umbrella organisations, Rape Crisis England and Wales and The Survivors’ Trust to help build the stability of the sector, including increasing capacity of rape crisis centres.

In relation to (ii) I met with Rape Crisis England and Wales and the Survivors Trust on 12 February to discuss the financial stability of the sector going forward.