Boris rape crisis funding update

// 4 August 2009

UPDATE: Croydon’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre has asked us to publiish their number for any women that may be finding the increase in press coverage difficult. Their national freephone number is 0808 802 9999 and they are open every day of the year between 12-2.30 and 7-9.30

So, the good news is that Ealing is set to get a new rape crisis centre, and Croydon will be getting extra funds.

The bad news is that the funding is going to be much less than originally promised. Via Tory Troll, this is the breakdown:

1. The Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre in Croydon will receive £260,000 over the next three years

· 2009/10 – £60k

· 2010/11 – £100k

· 2011/12 – £100k

2. If plans get the go ahead Ealing Council would receive a £375,000 contribution over the next three years towards delivering a new rape crisis centre.

· 2009/10 – 65k

· 2011/12 – £155k

· 2011/12 – £155k

So that’s £619,000 less on rape crisis centres this year than he originally promised, falling to £489,000 less than he promised by the end of his term.

Local councils are going to be stumping up the rest of the cash:

Also see: London Student Feminists

The London Paper

Comments From You

Jennifer Drew // Posted 4 August 2009 at 11:46 am

This latest announcement is being ‘spun’ as ‘good news’ because RASAC Croydon will be receiving short-term funding. But the facts clearly demonstrate Boris Johnson has reneged on his pre-election promises and so the pressure on Boris Johnson to prove his promises were not empty rhetoric will continue.

Women deserve better than piece-meal short-term funding, wherein Local Authorities are being expected to contribute. Male sexual violence against women is a national issue not a local one, which means central government must provide long-term sustainable funding, rather than the dreary, old, old rhetoric of ‘promises, promises and yet more promises.’

Passerby // Posted 4 August 2009 at 1:15 pm

Jennifer

Get your facts straight – or at least the target of your comments.

It is Labour Party policy that local authorities pay for Rape Crisis centres, because they do not think the rape is an issue of national importance. So if you think this is a problem then ask the Labour Party why they think this is a sustainable way of funding rape crisis centres.

Ditto Jess McCabe’s comment on local authorities picking up the pieces. If you are going to promote yourself to the position of being an editor at least try and educate yourself about the reality of the situation, not this pantomime slant. Try contacting women’s organisation as a source, not looking to party politic footballers.

More important is why aren’t London Councils and Croydon properly funding Croydon RASASC?

The face that Boris (whether out of true committment or political opportunism) has stepped into the gap created by Labour party administrations is not the issue. His 3 year funding is more than the (Labour) Government’s haphazard last minute yearly funding for rape crisis nationally.

At least this recent statement – http://womensgrid.freecharity.org.uk/?p=3211 – clarfies that any new centre will run to the standards of the Rape Crisis Federation which has been a real concern. But it would be interesting to know what or why Ealing is being touted as the borough to have a new centre. I hope there are no vested interests here.

I appreciate it is hard for the Ken groupies of LFN to shake of their primary loyalty to London Labour, but feminists who are truely committed to rape crisis centres, and are doing the work rather than just standing on soap boxes, are well aware that the damage to rape crisis centres has been caused by the Labour Party.

They are the party that cut the funding to the original London Rape Crisis Centre and they are the party who have prioritised domestic violence over rape, and only invested in SARCs.

It should be a matter of national shame that the new national rape crisis helpline is being funded by a charitable fund, not by the goverment. See http://www.womeninlondon.org.uk/2009/07/notice-rasasc/

If any of you really care about rape crisis centres please get in touch with your MP and also write to Harriet Harman and ask her to resolve this disgraceful situation before the end of this financial year. ie 31st March 2010.

Jess McCabe // Posted 4 August 2009 at 2:48 pm

@Passerby I didn’t mean that council’s shouldn’t fund rape crisis centres, they should of course.

In the context of this particular commitment though, Boris Johnson promised he would fund the entire thing – if I remember rightly, by cutting his PR budget.

The important thing is rape crisis centres get funded, not who pays for them. But still as he’s promised this funding from his own budget, then not delivering it all, what’s wrong with putting pressure on him to do what he originally promised.

Paula // Posted 4 August 2009 at 2:52 pm

Re. Passerby: “I hope there are no vested interests here”.

Indeedy. So do I.

Jennifer Drew // Posted 5 August 2009 at 10:12 am

Paaserby I am correct in my facts because I was directing my factual criticism at Boris Johnson’s empty promises. Johnson, during his election bid promised that if elected he would fund four rape crisis centres in London.

This has not happened and that is why I and many others are holding Johnson to account.

The wider issue of male sexual violence against women is not one wherein funding and preventing such violence should be only the concern of local authorites. It is a national issue which affects all women living in the UK. Hence central government must provide long-term funding rather than a continuum of empty promises.

Feminists have and continue to work very hard in demanding Johnson and also central government initiate their ’empty promises.’ If feminists do not continue to demand long-term adequate funding nothing will change. This is not about ‘soapbox standing’ but demanding women’s rights and needs be seen and acted on.

HarpyMarx // Posted 5 August 2009 at 11:29 am

Passerby,

You ask why the London Councils aren’t providing funding for Rape Crisis Centres…

Well, the answer is simple…. London Councils has a Tory majority and for the past couple of years their priority is keeping Council Tax low. So in order to do that they starve orgs. ,for example,that deal with rape and DV of funding…

It is disgraceful that Harriet Harman has done sod all on this and is pretty much a hypocrite in my bks BUT equally it is down right disgusting what the London Councils are failing to do.

So instead of concentrating your ire on the Labour Party (more specifically, New Labour) and yes they deserve blame but look at the antics of the Tory majority on the London Councils, their own offensive misogynistic ideology and corporate friendly Boris Johnson……

The Tories are still and will continue to be the Nasty Party as far as I am concerned.

woolmer // Posted 17 August 2009 at 3:35 pm

I’m speaking about this not as an absolute feminist, but as a victim of rape. I dont think that the problem is money or resources, fundamentally, it is an issue of our society that men are permitted to get away with rape and sexual abuse.

Money was taken away from rape crisis centres by Labour, promised to be increased by Boris Johnson, who then went back on his promise partly. All of these things need to be adressed and rectified, and the money should be given to the crisis centres, of course. But there needs to be attention paid to the way in which rape cases are conducted and how convictions are made. Lack of evidence is the main cause for no convictions, and often it is emotional trauma which causes victims of rape and sexual abuse to avoid reportng the crime in the first place. As only 6% of reported rape cases end in conviction there is obviously a serious problem with the way these sorts of cases are dealt with.

It shouldnt be about the money, it should be about the women.

Cathryn Setz // Posted 4 September 2009 at 12:32 am

Woolmer I agree. The issue seems to me to reveal that i) research needs to find ways of improving services for women, beyond cash, as a genuine and highly prioritized concern, ii) that the empty promise has been a bartering tool both for getting BoJo in and getting him out, and iii) the lack of services in London is urgent.

BoJo may well have said this fundamental point himself (in the hollowest terms), and money as you rightly point out cannot be thrown at the problem of sexual violence, but if he’d come good, if the funding were a top priority the organizations could evolve and have power to challenge the deeper problem in ways across policy, education, the criminal justice system – money could and must translate to the beginnings of change.

And Ealing? Really?

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