Local rape crisis centre closes doors due to lack of funding

A severe lack of funding means survivors of rape and sexual violence in Herefordshire & Worcestershire will no longer be accepted onto the waiting list of our local specialist support service after it took the difficult decision to close its waiting list. 

West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC), which offers specialist support to survivors of sexual violence, has today announced that it will not be able to accept any new referrals into its counselling service due to a lack of funding.

WMRSASC’s CEO Jocelyn Anderson said:

“This has been a very difficult decision to make. Sexual Violence impacts 1 in 5 women, 1 in 8 men and 1 in 20 children. Survivors need access to early intervention by trained sexual violence specialists.

We provide a first-class mental health service for survivors of sexual violence and abuse from the age of five years old. However, we do not have the funds to meet the the high demand. Adult survivors are waiting in the region of 18 months to access counselling support. This is unacceptable and it is simply not ethical for us to take on any more referrals when the current waiting list is already so long.”

Most referrals into WMRSASC come from the NHS, GP’s, social care and the police. However outside of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office, WMRSASC does not receive any local statutory funding. 

“If we had long term, sustainable funding at appropriate levels, we would be able to dedicate our time to providing the much-needed support that our clients need and deserve. Instead, we waste time scrabbling for funding, arguing for longer-term funding settlements and are unable to make long-term decisions about how to develop our service because we never know where next year’s money is coming from.  

“If anyone reading this would like to support our work, we would be very happy to speak to them.”

Jocelyn Anderson

The advocacy service, which is funded by the Police which is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner is unaffected.

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