Today sees the launch of Moray Rape Crisis, a service being set up by Rape Crisis Scotland to give survivors of sexual violence in Moray access to a local free and confidential service.
The launch of a base in Elgin supported by Scottish Government funding will ensure survivors living in the region have easier access to consistent, high quality face-to-face support and advocacy. To date current demand has been met by phone support from Grampian Rape Crisis or RASASH in Inverness. The service will be based in central Elgin.
Sandie Barton, Director of Operations at Rape Crisis Scotland said: “Significant progress has been made in addressing geographical gaps in rape crisis provision across Scotland, with Moray being the last area of the country which had no specialist sexual violence support provision. Starting today though, anyone aged 11 and over of any gender living in the Moray area who has experienced sexual violence at any time in their lives will have access to local face-to-face support.
“We believe that access to specialist services following a rape or experience of abuse is a right not a privilege. Seeking support following rape is not always an easy thing to do and we believe that the least we should be able to offer people in this position is access to support when they need it.”
“A Support & Development worker is now based in the Elgin area who will work to raise awareness of sexual violence and work collaboratively with local stakeholders and partners to develop the service in response to local needs. Funding has also been granted for a sexual violence prevention worker who will start in April 2019, working with young people in schools using the evidence based Rape Crisis Sscotland prevention pack.”
Bethea Robertson, the lead for Moray Rape Crisis added: “We respect the courage and strength it takes for survivors to speak out about their experience of sexual violence whether recently or a long time ago, and the bravery often needed to begin to acknowledge what happened. We will listen to you. We will believe you. We won’t judge you. We work to empower you.”
The support Moray Rape Crisis offers includes –
- Support for rape or sexual abuse that happened in the past
- Support for recent rape or sexual abuse
- Advocacy with the criminal justice process for those considering or who have reported to the Police
- Information and support for survivors, professionals, and friends, families, or supporters of survivors.
Detective Sergeant Alan Milton, of Police Scotland’s Public Protection Unit in Moray, said: “Police Scotland is committed to supporting victims of rape and other sexual offences regardless of when the attack happened. We are committed to continually improving the service we provide and we work closely with Rape Crisis Scotland in providing support to survivors of sexual crime who have engaged with or are considering engaging with the criminal justice system.
“Sexual crime has a long term devastating affect and we are committed to supporting those who have suffered. The launch of this service in Elgin, which will make it easier for people living in the Moray area to access face-to-face support, is extremely welcome and we look forward to working closely with the service in the future.”
The service is being launched by Minister for Older People and Equalities Christina McKelvie who said:
“Anyone who experiences sexual violence should be able to access the support they need, wherever they live. That is why it’s important that Scottish Government funding has enabled a rape crisis centre to be established in Moray.
In addition, we are investing a further £2 million over three years to speed up access to support for those affected by rape or sexual assault. This includes £1.5 million for rape crisis centres, with that funding starting from October so it can start to make a difference immediately. That will bring our total investment in tackling all violence against women and girls to at least £25 million over the next three years and we are also investing an additional £1.1 million funding to improve how sexual offences cases are handled and improve communication with victims in Scottish courts.
“In the longer term, we have committed to reviewing the funding and commissioning of these front line services, and I look forward to working with Rape Crisis Scotland and others to explore how we develop a model that ensures a degree of certainty and sustainability for the future for these vital services.”
If you cannot make the launch but would like to feed your views into the developing service please complete our short anonymous online survey