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15 March 2012, 05:00
Victims of rape and sexual violence will be getting more help following an £80,000 Ministry of Justice grant to develop the new support centre in Ipswich.
Justice Minister, Crispin Blunt, announced that the Government would fund five new centres in Ipswich, Leeds, Southend, Mid-Wales and Northumberland.
The new Rape Crisis centre has just moved into permanent premises and the new funding will allow it to provide face-to-face counselling, advocacy and employ more staff.
At the moment, they run a helpline for women and girls in Suffolk who have been affected by sexual violence, but are hoping to expand their services with the money.
Justice Minister, Crispin Blunt said:
"Rape and sexual violence are traumatising crimes which ruin lives.
We want to ensure victims of these terrible crimes get the specialist support they need to recover which is why the Government is funding this new centre in Ipswich.
This is part of the Government's long-term commitment to victims of rape and sexual violence, which will see a further four centres open in Leeds, Mid-Wales, Northumberland and Southend."
Cath Elliott, volunteer co-ordinator for Suffolk Rape Crisis said:
"The funding from the Ministry of Justice is going to be an enormous help. Instead of having to worry about how we're going to fund the service, we will now be able to focus on providing much needed support to the girls and women across Suffolk who are survivors of rape and sexual violence.
We have big plans for our future and we are now much closer to being able to achieve some of these ambitious aims."
A spokeswoman for Rape Crisis England and Wales said:
"We welcome the Government's announcement to fund the development and establishment of a further five new Rape Crisis Centres. It is vital that women and girls who experience sexual violence are able to access services when and where they need them.
For many women in Leeds, Northumberland, Southend, Suffolk and Mid Wales, that support just hasn't been available or at best, they've had to travel long distances, particularly in the rural areas of Northumberland and Mid Wales, in order to get the help they need."
For more information go to: http://www.suffolkrapecrisis.org.uk/