A recent report published by Rape Crisis England & Wales has shown that nationally demand for specialist services to support victims and survivors of sexual violence has increased by more than 40% since 2019 – with over 10,000 currently sitting on waiting lists.
Coventry services have been impacted similarly with referrals to the Coventry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC) rising by 58% this year compared to the same time period last year.
CRASAC, which provides specialist advocacy, emotional support and counselling services for anyone affected by sexual violence in Coventry and the surrounding areas, has more than 400 people on its waiting list – many who will be forced to wait over 12 months for the vital support they need.
The Rape Crisis England & Wales report ‘Holding It Together’ details the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on services such as CRASAC and sets out recommendations to improve support for victims and survivors of rape and sexual assault.
It highlights the enormous pressures on Rape Crisis centres and the need for sustainable funding to continue their highly specialist work which meets the growing demands of survivors.
Natalie Thompson, CEO of CRASAC says:
“We welcome this report which demonstrates the resilience and adaptability of of organisations such as ours to ensure victims and survivors are able to access our services and get the quality of support they deserve.
“However, it is crucial we get the funding we need to meet the increasing demand for our services. This not only includes counselling and specialist helpline services, but also our crisis and advocacy service which provides support to victims navigating the criminal justice system – something hugely important given that statistics show that rape prosecutions have fallen to an all-time low.”