The Chief Executives of Women’s Aid Federation NI, Nexus NI and Mens Advisory Project announced today that they will be providing a regional Rape Crisis Service.

Jan Melia, CEO of Women’s Aid commented

“In the light of the Belfast rape trial, we and our partners are keen to let victims and survivors know that we are here to support them. We have been working towards providing a rape crisis service for some time, and are all too aware of the huge gap in crisis support for all victims of rape in Northern Ireland. We have structures in place and we are in the process of recruiting volunteers and finalising venues which we will be publicising widely. We will be working in partnership with Nexus, the Men’s Advisory Project, local Women’s Aid groups and other partners to ensure rape victims have all the support that they need when they need it.”

We are also calling on the Government to support this work, recognising that we urgently need adequately resourced rape crisis support services for victims and survivors of rape and sexual abuse, along with clear information about where victims can get the help they need. The Belfast trial highlights that we all need to do more to ensure the victims know where to go and what to expect when they get there.

We have a state of the art resource in the Rowan Sexual Assault Referral Centre, but we need more face to face support. Nexus currently has a waiting list of 800 survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse. Women’s Aid has faced cuts to services and have been forced to turn women and children away. This situation lets victims down, we must have adequately resourced services. Rape victims can no longer wait for a Government response, they need help now.

We call on our MLA’s to support this service to ensure no victim of rape is ever failed again. If you want to know more please call us, if you are interested in volunteering please call us, if you have been affected by the trial or it has triggered feelings and memories relating to rape, please call us.

The 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline is open to all women and men affected by rape or sexual violence, including friends and family of victims and survivors. Call in confidence on 0808 802 1414, or email 24hrsupport@dvhelpline.org

 

Nexus – 028 90 326803

MAP – 028 90 241929

WAFNI – 028 90 249041

Or email: reception@womensaidni.org