Scotland’s shame as rape survivors waiting almost a year for support

Scottish Government figures reveal that some rape survivors are having to wait nearly a year to access support services.

The figures, supplied by Rape Crisis Scotland, were revealed in response to a parliamentary question from Monica Lennon MSP, Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for Equalities, and highlight huge inconsistencies throughout the country with waiting times of 10 months in Dundee and similar in Glasgow and Clyde.

Although the Scottish Government recently announced extra funding the news comes in the wake of cash strapped centres being forced to close their waiting lists.

Traumatised women and girls are waiting up to 10 months for essential support and this should shame ­Scotland.

Monica Lennon MSP

The Scottish Government recently had to provide emergency funding to Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre after it was forced to close its waiting list and last month the Forth Valley Rape Crisis Centre also announced that its waiting list would have to close unless a funding gap was plugged.

Monica Lennon

Monica Lennon MSP

Monica Lennon welcomed the additional funding but said the situation should “shame Scotland” saying “This emergency funding from the Scottish Government can’t come soon enough for cash-strapped Rape Crisis services, who do brilliant work with so little.

“Traumatised women and girls are waiting up to 10 months for essential support and this should shame ­Scotland. Survivors of sexual assault should always be able to access ­support services at the point of need.”

Lanarkshire fairs better than the worst areas, with waiting times of 5 months, but Monica Lennon points out that “the service is running with a quarter of the volunteers it needs because the money isn’t there to train new recruits” and goes on to say that “Encouraging survivors to come forward needs to backed up with guaranteed practical support and the ­Scottish Government, working with local authorities, Police Scotland and other partners, must raise their game.”

The full figures, from Rape Crisis Scotland as of August 2018, are listed below and highlight the postcode lottery of waiting times which range from zero to almost a year.

Rape victim support waiting times, August 2018

You can phone the Rape Crisis Scotland helpline free on 08088 01 03 02 between 6pm and midnight every day.


Posted by HLSLabour

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