It’s official, Boris will not fund the promised rape crisis centres for London

// 22 April 2009

London Mayor Boris Johnson yesterday confirmed that he will not fund three new rape crisis centres for London, almost the only part of his election platform that had any merit.

We had wind of this back in December last year, but it’s not official. The Evening Standard reports:

But today the Mayor admitted that funding for the three new centres, which would supplement an existing centre in Croydon, would not be found in his budget.

His office said he was “assessing rape crisis need in London” and would ask the Government or councils to stump up the cash.

Labour Assembly member Joanne McCartney said: “This is a complete betrayal. Boris is promoting himself as a defender of women’s rights; behind the scenes he is reneging on his promise to fund new rape crisis centres.”

Green party Assembly member Jenny Jones said: “If you promise something you jolly well get on and deliver it. There’s a lot of back-tracking going on and a lot of women need these centres and need them immediately.”

As Rhetorically Speaking noted, it is somewhat… ironic… that this news came out during the launch of Boris’ strategy on violence against women. I haven’t yet had a chance to read the strategy, but you can see the press release here.

I’m sure it contains lots of other helpful stuff, if anyone wants to trawl through or comment on that feel free in comments!

Image from anniemole’s Flickr stream, shared under a Creative Commons license

Comments From You

Lotus // Posted 22 April 2009 at 5:23 pm

From the executive summary

“2 Improving access to support

We will improve the safety, wellbeing

and freedom of women and children

through access to better services

that meet the needs of London’s

diverse communities. Our goal is to

build capacity across the voluntary

sector, including expanding rape

crisis provision and to help friends

and family of victims, to whom

women often turn first, to provide

informed support.”

terese // Posted 22 April 2009 at 5:27 pm

From the strategy doc:

“The Mayor has allocated funding from his budget to increase the provision of specialist women-only rape and sexual abuse support services across the capital by working with London boroughs.

The Mayor will continue to engage in discussions with London Councils and to lobby government to secure sustainable funding for rape crisis provision across London.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if he had no clue what the difference was between Rape Crisis and SARCs when he made his ‘promise’ and he’s now having to backtrack to not look ignorant. The document talks about how both RC and SARCs are important and meet different needs, but saying that and then not putting any money into the RCs makes it pretty plain that he’s not interested in having any involvement with Rape Crisis, probably because it’s a bit too feminist and not interested in doing the police’s work for them.

Karen // Posted 22 April 2009 at 6:02 pm

The mayor’s office is currently in trouble for it’s campaign to tackle domestic violence, whilst the Met are being investigated for the ‘alleged’ assault of a lady protestor (looked like a nasty case of willy-waving with a back-handed slap to me but anyhow I digress..). So now we know that billions are being flushed away on an overblown sports-day in London in 2012 but when it comes to victims of rape and other sexual violence, sorry ladies (and gents) please form an orderly queue behind the caviar and champagne Olympics junket and other money wastage. Sorry but this has really annoyed me and I think priorities in this country are rapidly going arse over elbow. Maybe if 1 in 4 men were to get raped in the course of their lifetimes instead of 1 in 4 women, priorities would be different but hey ho, never mind, we can all go visit the remains of the olympic village in Stratford when it’s all over instead. Sticky wicket time, Boris! What a bunch of Berkeley Hunts!

Rumbold // Posted 23 April 2009 at 11:38 am

Thi is an utter disgrace.

rutiger // Posted 22 May 2009 at 5:24 pm

i think boris johnson is an insult to humanity,why is he not funding rape crisis centres?

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