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The Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre is now officially open - offering support for men and women who are victims of serious sexual assault.
Formerly known as Dorset Rape Crisis Line, the DRCSC has been providing specialist services for victims/survivors of rape and sexual abuse for over 25 years.
In 2011 they were funded by the Ministry of Justice to expand their services and establish confidential offices and client rooms in Poole.
Their trained volunteers offer individual face-to-face support and a telephone helpline. Counselling is offered by their fully qualified counsellors. They also have a team of Independent Sexual Violence Advisors funded by Dorset Police, Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council and Borough of Poole. The advisors offer support and advice on issues affecting victims/survivors such as criminal justice proceedings, employment, housing and education.
In a statement, a spokesperson said:
We know from our work that rape and sexual abuse are devastating experiences for victims/survivors, and can leave a lifelong legacy of trauma including depression, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, self-harm and relationship difficulties. At the moment the majority of victims of rape and sexual abuse do not report the offences against them,either through misplaced shame or fear. It can take some victims many years to tell someone what has happened to them.
Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre therefore welcomes the opening of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (Dorset ARC) in Bournemouth and will work closely with Dorset ARC to ensure that all victims, regardless of whether they report or not, can get the support they need. We hope that the new Dorset ARC will encourage more people to seek help.
We will be working in partnership with other agencies and signpost clients to relevant organisations, if necessary.
Dorset Rape Crisis Support Helpline: 01202 308855 Helpline
Open: Mon 1pm-3pm;
Wed, Thu & Fri 7.30pm-9.30pm;
Answer machine at other times
Agencies and referrals: 01202 308840