The Mayor invested £1.4 million over three years to expand Rape Crisis provision to give the capital four Rape Crisis Centres, one in each quadrant of London.
The Rape Crisis services work with women and girls 14-plus who have experienced all forms of sexual violence, whether historic or recent, including rape, childhood sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, prostitution, trafficking, domestic violence, genital mutilation and ‘honour’ based violence. Services provided include one to one counselling, support, group therapy, art and body therapies. To find out more please visit the Rape Crisis London (external website).
Mayor delivers on his promise
When first elected, Mayor Boris Johnson pledged to open three Rape Crisis services and provide extra funding for what was then the capital's only service in Croydon. By working together with London’s boroughs he has now delivered on this commitment and reversed a downward trend in women’s services, which saw two centres close under the previous administration.
By December 2010 all four Rape Crisis Centres were up and running, quadrupling the services available to help women in London. The Mayor also launched a website www.rapecrisislondon.org (external website) to help women easily access the services and find relevant information.
The Mayor said: ‘Reported rapes have risen by 29 per cent this year but this is just the tip of the iceberg as many of these crimes go unreported – leaving the true scale of these abuses alarmingly hard to uncover. Sexual violence is a crime that is often hidden, and not spoken about, and I hope the new website will help women easily access the support and information they need.’
The Mayor also invested additional funding of £25,000 for the south London service to deal with the extra demand they experienced over the past year. The cash also has meant that the service has been able to deliver additional counselling sessions.
Sustainable funding for the London Rape Crisis Centres
As part of his re-election commitments in 2012, the Mayor has committed to continue funding the four London Rape Crisis centres. However, funding these centres should not be the Mayor’s responsibility alone. If a future Mayor did not prioritise funding Rape Crisis Centres this could potentially put the centres on the brink of closure. To ensure that this does not happen, the Mayor has been working hard to lobby local and central government for funding. He has ensured that all four of the London Rape Crisis Centres receive an adequate proportion of the Ministry of Justice Support Fund. In total the four centres will receive £210k per annum over the next three years.