Croydon council leader cuts rape crisis funding, gives himself pay rise

// 9 July 2010

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RASASC.jpgCroydon’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre is having its funding cut by £27,000 a year – while the top Tories in the council are giving themselves pay rises.

This is the currently the only rape crisis centre in London one of only two rape crisis centres in London (the new Ealing centre is already open), and it may have to close its waiting list if the funding cut goes ahead. Via gorilerof3b, RASASC is asking people to write direct to council leader Mike Fisher:

We need your help – urgently. A decision was made to cut the Corporate Funding Budget of Croydon Council two weeks ago and there was pressure on the Council Lead, Mike Fisher, to do some cost saving, pretty quick.

Fisher chose the easiest option as the corporate funding applications were due for ratification. So instead of cutting jobs, pensions, council staff or even not giving the third sector an inflationary rise across the board – he gave himself a rise in pay and slashed one department’s budget of £1 million!

The cuts for RASASC of £27,000 per year is the equivalent of supporting 2,700 survivors of sexual violence on our helpline, seeing 23 survivors face to face for one year specialist counselling or supporting 108 survivors through our Advocacy department from reporting their rape to the end of their trial. We need your help to save our services! Please email mike.fisher@croydon.gov.uk to voice your disgust at these cuts and speak for the thousands of London women this will affect. It will only take 5 minutes of your time but may stop the only Rape Crisis Centre in London from having to close our waiting list.

They have put together a model letter which gorilerof3b has also posted.

Photo of a woman holding a RASASC placard by me from the Million Women Rise 2010 march

Comments From You

charlotte richardson andrews // Posted 9 July 2010 at 11:15 am

Emailed Fisher and will be posting this on FB and urging friends to do the same. There is NO justification for Fisher’s actions. None.

Jaine Doe // Posted 11 July 2010 at 6:46 pm

It’s outrageous and almost unbelievable that Croydon’s RASASC is one of only two in the whole of London, the other being newly established in Ealing, meaning that, for however long, Croydon’s RASASC has been the only one of its kind in the capital. This is the same capital that has the poorest conviction rate for rape across the entire country with less than one half (45.5%) of all reported rapes resulting in conviction (Crown Prosecution Services). And those are just the rapes that are reported.

This is the same capital city where 25% of all of the rapes in the country take place. Yet there was until very recently only one Rape Crisis Centre to provide support for survivors.

Sheila // Posted 13 July 2010 at 8:58 am

Don’t the Havens (three in London) count as rape crisis centres? I don’t mean to derail, but we lose political credibility if we don’t state the resources as they really are (lacking as they would be even if you do count in The Havens). But workers at The Havens must feel pretty annoyed to hear the very population they are trying to help ignoring their existence.

Jess McCabe // Posted 13 July 2010 at 10:15 am

@Sheila The distinction is that Haven provides care and support, medical assistance and forensics for victims immediately after the rape has happened – they don’t provide long-term support. Victims can only access the Haven centres for a year after the assault occurred – see Rape Crisis’ website for a longer explanation.

Sheila // Posted 13 July 2010 at 11:35 am

Thanks Jess, I see the distinction. Pretty bad.

Harry // Posted 13 July 2010 at 12:10 pm

@Sheila: whilst Havens and RCCs are not comparable services, it is often overlooked that there are lots of other sources of support for rape / sexual assault victims in London, not least of which is Victim Support which operate in every London Borough. Whilst it isn’t a wholly women-only service, they will provide you with a counsellor in the gender of your choosing.

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