[two-thirds-first]By March 2016, all of the forty-six rape crisis charities in the UK will no longer receive funding from the Government. This will mean that all funds for the charity will have to be sourced from sponsors or will have to be raised by themselves. This could mean significant changes within the charities, including the number of survivors they can see.
We spoke to The Birchall Trust, a rape crisis charity in Cumbria about how the cuts might affect their services and also to Rebecca Head, a PSHE specialist about how the cuts may put pressure on schools to teach young people about sexual consent and rape.
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We also spoke to Christina Diamandopoulos, director of Wycombe, Chiltern & South Bucks rape crisis charity about how the cuts may affect her charity:
Why has your funding been cut?
The story is that it hasn’t been cut. Certain funding streams have come to an end the story goes, and austerity and commissioning mean a change in the funding climate. Reasons given are spurious. We know that the truth is that it’s because women’s lives are not taken seriously by our patriarchal system. This may be unaware, but the history of our institutions is that they were invented by wealthy white men for benefit of wealthy white men, and it takes a long time to erode white male privilege. This is not at all the same as saying that men are bad, which we don’t believe. In addition, there is very little understanding of the effects of sexual violence, or of the importance or meaning of the work ‘specialist’, when we talk about support. We also campaign for an end to sexual violence and to empower women. Lip service is given to this, but actually the powers that be just want women to ‘cope and recover’ quietly, and get back to work. This is great for some women, but doesn’t begin to address what others want.
Where will you get the majority of your funding from?
We apply to many grant giving Trusts, but we would ned to rely on the majority coming from statutory bodies, national and local authorities, health agencies etc, and maybe from the police.