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Funding for Rape Crisis centres - what do you think?

(73 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 25-Apr-12 15:25:19

You might remember that, as part of our We Believe You campaign, we helped Rape Crisis raise awareness of the fact that their national helpline is currently unfunded, leaving over 250 women a week unable to get through.

Rape Crisis are now asking Mumsnetters to support them in opposing govt proposals to abolish the Rape Support Fund (the centralised pot of money out of which many Rape Crisis centres are funded) as part of the drive to devolve funding to local level.

Rape Crisis are really worried about this: local funding decisions should equal better, more appropriate services - but in fact when rape support was previously locally-funded, half their centres were forced to close. Local authorities just didn't seem to see the need for them, leaving London, for example, with just one centre to cover a population of 8m.

They're also very concerned that the new Policing and Crime Commissioners, who'd be administering the funds, just won't have the expertise to commission sexual violence services; and that they'll prioritise their policing work, leaving survivors of sexual violence unsupported.

We know that Mumsnetters have varying opinions on the subject of localism, so do let us know what you think of this particular proposal, and whether you'd like to see Mumsnet support Rape Crisis in opposing it.



TheRhubarb Wed 25-Apr-12 16:11:16

Yes please do support them. I am dismayed at all the funding cuts that are affecting vulnerable people and this appears to be just another casualty of the cutbacks that are hitting the vulnerable hard whilst leaving the rich, large corporations and banks unscathed.

This SHOULD be government funded there's no doubt about it. I would much rather a proportion of my taxes went to services like this rather than paying for some MP's expenses, Trident and bloody useless local council bureaucracy.

I can well imagine local councils cutting funding for this as most of them are claiming that they can't afford to keep other charities open including many youth centres and community clubs. There is no way this should be localised. This is a service that should be accessible to all and not become part of the postcode lottery where someone in one area will be able to access the service but not someone in the next county.

The Rape Crisis Centre is a national concern and should be funded nationally. I would definitely support a campaign along those lines.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 25-Apr-12 16:20:47

Thanks TheRhubarb

Just to clarify, we're not at this stage considering a campaign of our own - simply that Rape Crisis will be able to say they've got Mumsnet's support in their own lobbying/campaigning.


CoffeeAhorlicksAnonymous Wed 25-Apr-12 16:21:27

Yes I think Mumsnet should support Rape Crisis in opposing local funding.

Rape is a national societal problem which often leaves survivors isolated and blamed.

Many people find this aspect of our culture difficult to handle, including police and governing bodies. This proposal would leave too many survivors at risk.

The government would be making a massive mistake in localising funding.

CMOTDibbler Wed 25-Apr-12 16:29:26

I'd certainly support Rape Crisis on this. Its not somehing that should be variable depending on your local area as to whether you can access help, it should be a national service.

Firawla Wed 25-Apr-12 16:37:08

i think mumsnet should support it. i dont have strong views either way about local or central funding for stuff generally but if that is the situation where local funding leaves them having nothing eg one centre for the whole of london, then obviously its better for them to stick with central gov funding so we should support it

FatherDougalMcGuire Wed 25-Apr-12 16:54:50

Agree it should be centrally funded and not vulnerable to the whims of localised governance!

msrisotto Wed 25-Apr-12 16:58:50

I presume that Rape Crisis know more about this than I. I wouldn't necessarily have seen a problem IF the government, in devolving funding responsibility, ensured they would be continue to be funded locally....I can easily see them not ensuring this and IMO these centres absolutely MUST exist, particularly as the police do such a poor job of recording, convicting and punishing rapists, as opposed to the poor victims. I would support the campaign and I hope mumsnet agree to on my behalf.

Notthefullshilling Wed 25-Apr-12 17:06:23

Can someone please tell me what department budget the funding comes from? Or what budget is it likely that any devolved LA would fund these services from?

TheLightPassenger Wed 25-Apr-12 17:11:14

agree with rhubarb and every other poster. localism will result in cuts by the back door.

I'm in.

Flisspaps Wed 25-Apr-12 17:19:17

Yes, I agree MN should support Rape Crisis in their campaign

Memoo Wed 25-Apr-12 17:31:49


Notthefullshilling Wed 25-Apr-12 17:52:52

No they should not. Instead they should suggest that Rape crises join with the general anti cuts campaigns to fight as a whole society refusing to be put in a situation were we are forced to choose who is left with out a service, and what parts of our society are more expendable than others.

Special pleading does nothing more than underline the divide and conquer agenda set by this and other governments.

maristella Wed 25-Apr-12 17:59:12

I would definitely want to support this.

Rape destroys lives, it has far reaching and devastating effects. Access to vital support services should be nationwide, and not dependant on where victims live. Immediate access to facilities would serve to minimise the negative impact.

I also believe that we as a society should work together towards ending sexual violence, that means paying for it as a society and supporting it.

MadameOvary Wed 25-Apr-12 18:17:31

What maristella said. No crime occurs without a ripple effect but rape is especially severe here. This act of violence has the potential to devastate many more over a long period of time and affect whole communities.
Of COURSE support for Rape victims should be centralised.
It's so wrong that we are even having to discuss this.

I strongly believe that Mumsnet should support Rape Crisis in arguing that they cannot just be abandoned to the vagaries of local government funding - but that they should be supported in working with local government, the police and the new police and crime commissioners to secure local funding agreements for rape victims AND victims of domestic violence. I don't agree with Notthefullshilling that they should join forces with everybody, that's not practical - but instead some groups (Rape Crisis, Refuge) could seek a cost-effective joint solution. Police and Crime Commissioners are short term appointments with the authority to provide funds to the bodies that meet their own local agendas -there's no reason to think victims of sexual offences will be on that agenda. PCC's will be looking to fund Crime Prevention organisations, not victim organisations. There must be local agreements that recognise the need to provide shelter and advice to victims and advocate strongly that IS a crime prevention service - the victim is less likely to turn up as a murder victim if they have somewhere else to go. Don't campaign for something that is unrealistic - funding forever - nobody is getting that these days. But campaign for limited funding, and help to enshrine some local agreements for issues that might not be on the PCC's agenda. Women are disproportionately affected by rape and domestic violence, and until there is evidence that is being addressed, the government has no business shoving it out to random local provision. Service provision should be equal across the country, not at the whim of John Prescott or whoever gets elected as PCC. Thankyou for listening, please urge them to join forces with relevant organisations and support them.

Lastofthepodpeople Wed 25-Apr-12 19:33:30

Mumsnet should definitely support Rape Crisis in this.

Kveta Wed 25-Apr-12 19:35:15

mumsnet should definitely support rape crisis IMO

Notthefullshilling Wed 25-Apr-12 19:48:01

Darth you miss my point, it is only unreasonable to ask for funding forever as you put it, because we are told it is. We live in one of the richest countries in the world. How that wealth is distributed is a matter for us not the politicle class. We have spent far too long being told by the politicle class that we must choose where resources go, and not enough time challenging them on why as a nation we are further behind in social cohesion and welfare (No not benefits, but education, health service, social services, support for the most needy.) than most other developed countries.

You pcc notion would see more resources going to that budget, where is that money to come from, which peter will you rob to pay the pcc? That is the very question you will be asked by local and central government unless we change the the parameters of the whole dialogue. You cannot argue that Rape crises centres are any more valuable than sheltered homes for women, women in to work schemes, young mums support services, women's, education classes. If you do want to argue that go ahead but you impoverish one lot of women in order to benefit another.

Quick fixes are no fixes at all, fight for properly resourced public services, funded by central government, run by local authorities.

No Shilling, I do not miss it. I didn't say that campaign should not be happening, I just don't think Mumsnet should be pushing for it, or that it is a helpful answer to the question Mumsnet put. I agree with you that challenge should be made.

You have not understood the point about the PCC - it is not a notion, in November this year the PCC will be given a budget for crime reduction. I don't need to rob Peter, that budget is already ear-marked, it was an existing crime prevention fund converted. Not for back to work schemes or education classes but crime reduction. There is logic in saying offering protection from rape and domestic violence leads directly to crime reduction and therefore securing some of the budget.

The other things you raise, which are also linked to crime reduction could and should be campaigned for as you say. I happen to believe there is an opportunity to make an argument for a quick fix that government and local government and policing will hear in respect of Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence and they should be urged to take advantage of that opportunity. It is not me impoverishing one lot of women, and it is not true that quick fixes are not useful. Sometimes they open eyes and doors to longer term solutions.

I will cheerfully discuss this with you on a thread if you care to - I was offering a practical rationale to the question that was put. Peace - DV

NormaStanleyFletcher Wed 25-Apr-12 20:11:46

This is not something that should be localised. I completely agree that this is a service that needs to be accessible to all, no matter where they live.

Thefoxsbrush Wed 25-Apr-12 20:13:26

They have my support

LynnCSchreiber Wed 25-Apr-12 20:20:14

I don't know enough about funding at local or national levels, but Rape Crisis Centres have been doing this for many years, and are the best people to make the recommendation as to which version is most effective.

It is not robbing Peter to pay Paul. It is paying Paul so that Peter has lower costs (if we assume that Peter is the NHS for example).

Protecting women from violence has a knock on effect - for their mental health, for their children, for their families.

HeathRobinson Wed 25-Apr-12 20:26:50


Notthefullshilling Wed 25-Apr-12 20:53:42

Darth I offer my apologies if I picked you up wrong.

I would be surprised if the budget alocated to the pcc will be entirely new money, even if it is it will be availible for any tom dick or paul to bid on. So youth clubs, local authorities who want officers stationed in local housing offices, schools projects, literacy projects, football and other sport related projects, and many more besides will all be able to bid for the money. In exactly the same way as rape crises centres will. Again I say to you, we will have a rape crises centre bidding for several posts of money all of which added together will probably produce a standstill budget, that in real terms is a service cut. I know this will happen as every other area of government money is operated on a similer basis. No organisation these days can rely on one funder for running costs.

So when a Rape crises centre can no longer maintain it's high level of service which should they do, offer a worse service or just pack it in? I would argue pack it in, the government are making these decisions let them feel the effect on services being withdrawn.

LynnCSchreiber Wed 25-Apr-12 21:02:44

Except the government won't feel the impact of the closure of Rape Crisis Centres. Abused women will.

Notthefullshilling Wed 25-Apr-12 21:07:41

If no women is angry enough to vent her feelings on the issue of a closure of a vital service, I would be most surprised.

Perhaps though you have a better suggestion as to how to fight the cuts Mme?

omarlittlest Wed 25-Apr-12 21:20:41


LynnCSchreiber Wed 25-Apr-12 21:27:06

oh, sorry. Have gone back and read your earlier point, NotTheFull. I understand what you mean now.

The problem is though that there will never be a cohesive group, and bringing them together is simply not possible unless they have a very strong leader. I cannot see that this happening.

dottyspotty2 Wed 25-Apr-12 21:28:59

Yes I fully support this I have just finished counselling with rape crisis centre due to childhood sexual abuse and I have been helped immensely sadly they cannot offer enough women the help they need.

Notthefullshilling Wed 25-Apr-12 21:44:15

Mme your great, no offence taken at all, I am often not very clear.

I agree with your point about a leader which is why I would argue for doing away with such an idea of leaders and parties. Think about all the groups who are being adversly hit. Women, the disabled, elderly, low waged, some middle class people. So if we could act not as one but each together supporting each other in order to bring about the fundemental change that is what I would want to see. Women who are the majority in this country cannot do it as you are right they would never reach criticle mass. That is why on some levels we need each other and to put aside politicle diffrences until we do the fundemental job of introducing a faier society for all. At that stage I think women, and others could revert back to being campaigning groups for themselves. I would suggest that a good model was the tuc march in London where you had such a wide spread of people and politicle views.

colette Wed 25-Apr-12 22:02:43

I think we should oppose proposals to abolish the Rape Support Fund . The effects of rape last a lifetime .

Chickensrule Wed 25-Apr-12 22:15:10

FYI: Many other countries (including those that are struggling to recover from wars) prioritise central government funding for services to support women and girls who have been raped. It's staggering that here in Britain we're even having to think about whether this should be a centrally-funded service.
In short - yes MN should absolutely support Rape Crisis!

LineRunner Thu 26-Apr-12 00:01:01

Yes, MN should support Rape Crisis.

I'm just a bit puzzled about the statement Local authorities just didn't seem to see the need for them

What's the evidence - because if this is true, we should have the data Council by Council.

Some Councils do commission services. If they feel they are going to be slagged off anyway ... well, it's not helpful?

LadySybilDeChocolate Thu 26-Apr-12 00:02:59

Yes, they have my support. Local governments have been cutting services left, right and centre without a thought about those who are affected. Children, the disabled and the elderly have all suffered but my council has the funds to improve shop fronts (seriously). Rape is a crime and rape crisis do a fabulous job. It would be another crime on these victims to deny them the support they need.

AliceHurled Thu 26-Apr-12 08:11:58

Yes please support them

RamblingRosa Thu 26-Apr-12 08:45:00

Yes, please support Rape Crisis.

AbigailAdams Thu 26-Apr-12 11:19:25

Yes support them.

Bramshott Thu 26-Apr-12 13:05:31

Yes, this absolutely must not be devolved to local councils who are already having their budgets slashed right left and centre.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 26-Apr-12 15:18:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Having worked as a volunteer for this most excellent service as a student Social Worker Ill say a big fat YES too.

Is MN also offering any kind of support/campaign about the closure of refuges for women too?

ThatllDoPig Thu 26-Apr-12 18:28:37

Rape crisis offer vital help. I would willingly join any campaign to support their work and their funding. What can we do?

Notthefullshilling Thu 26-Apr-12 19:06:31

ThatllDoPig: For a start stop seeing this service as any more important than other services, defend them all not just one.

ThatllDoPig Thu 26-Apr-12 19:35:05

notthefullshilling, I am answering what mumsnet has asked, and giving my support.
Regarding your points, darthvader put it better than I could. Yes the system is not fair, but we have to start somewhere to work towards making things better. I am certainly not saying that rape crisis is 'more important' than other services, but it is one which I have experience of and feel strongly about.

dottyspotty2 Thu 26-Apr-12 19:40:49

notthefullshilling personally I think they deserve all the support they can get without their counselling services I really don't know if I would of made it through the last 6 months. To me it therefore is more important.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 26-Apr-12 19:52:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Notthefullshilling Thu 26-Apr-12 20:30:44

Stewie and Dotty, I am indeed interested. However dotty I could argue that I have worked and benefited from other services that face cuts and are just as important to women facing dv and rape. I am not prioritising those services over rape crises centres because I do not by the initial concept that we do not have the money to fund ALL the services we need. I am willing to fight for all services on an equal basis, as to fall in to the trap of promoting one service above another is to take on the responsibility for closing others, and allow national and local government to get off the hook by arguing that the "public" made enough noise for one cause and not any others.

That is why I will not sign any petition Stewie not because it is something I do not believe in, but rather I believe in a whole society that treats everyone with the same respect.

Notthefullshilling Thu 26-Apr-12 20:32:58

I would also again ask mumsnet to offer support to this cause but in the context of a statement that insists all public services for women and children be fully maintained.

AbigailAdams Thu 26-Apr-12 20:37:59


Notthefullshilling Thu 26-Apr-12 20:38:16

Thatwilldopig. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, so you intend to do good by supporting rape crises centres. So lets say you are in the position of allocating the money for them. Do you take it from central government and if so what department, or local council budgets, and if so which organisations that will be bidding for the same money will you deny.

That unfortunately is the reality of the situation, austerity is for the little people not those who have far more money to worry about ever using public services. So whilst you want to start somewhere littlepig, perhaps you should start at a completely diffrent place from where the government would like you to start

CoffeeAhorlicksAnonymous Thu 26-Apr-12 20:47:47

NotThe Rape Crisis has asked for Mumsnet support, have any of the services you are talking about asked for Mumsnet support? If they do I'm sure they would recieve the same support?

Notthefullshilling Thu 26-Apr-12 23:39:22

Coffee, thats very open of you to make that offer, but why should mumsnet have to be asked to supply what is in the best interests of their target audience i.e. mums.

Or to put it another way if all the agencies that were facing cuts to services contacted mumsnet hq asking for their support, do you think the mumsnet team would have any free time to actaually run mumsnet?

CoffeeAhorlicksAnonymous Thu 26-Apr-12 23:54:14

NotThe, there are a large number of high profile media places which can be approached by agencies to ask for support, newspapers being my first thought. Rape Crisis has asked Mumsnet for support.

I'm not sure what you are asking. I support local agencies in need, locally. I support national agencies through relevant media.


Notthefullshilling Fri 27-Apr-12 00:22:48

likewise coffee I am not sure of the point you were making in your first post! Mumsnet should support rape crises becouse rape crises asked?

I have argued Rape crises should be no more priveledged becouse they asked over than the many local and national agencies that have not. Plus the concept of asking for support is what I set out to argue against. No agency should have to do that, and if they did they are asking for money that will inevitably be diverted from other causes. Not to mention the largest amount of charitable donations are from the poorest people in society, so the poor are cajolled by large media outlets to impoverish themselves somer more.

Hi Stewie Id be very interested, yes please and thanks for your response

Jux Fri 27-Apr-12 09:23:18

Rape Crisis are best placed to make the decision about how the funding should work. I am more than happy to support them.

Adding my support for this.

tumbleweedblowing Fri 27-Apr-12 15:11:30

Supporting them in this.

People need to know that wherever they are in the country they have equal rights to access the service.

fotheringhay Sat 28-Apr-12 18:57:52

Adding my support too.

mrspnut Sat 28-Apr-12 23:27:34

I support this campaign too but would like to see DV services also funded directly from central government. Localism has npmeant in our county that funding has been massively cut and consequently huge areas of our very rural county have no DV support at all. When the transport system is crap and you have to travel 30 miles to the nearest support then you tend not to bother unless things are really bed so thousands of women are living in fear because the Tory county council see that cutting those services is ok instead of cutting their own expense payments.

Jellykat Sat 28-Apr-12 23:48:15

Absolutely agree to supporting them

100% yes.

Absolutely support them.

FashionEaster Sun 29-Apr-12 11:47:44

Totally a campaign MN & MNers should support - it has mine.

TheProvincialLady Sun 29-Apr-12 17:38:32

I absolutely support this campaign.

gingerpig Sun 29-Apr-12 19:25:30

I support this campaign

Slambang Sun 29-Apr-12 21:50:41

Yes. This is the sort of thing that MN is really good for - the common sense voice of a whole load of women. Please support this for us.

I support it too.

ComradeJing Mon 30-Apr-12 07:06:16

Yes, 100% behind this

Whitters Fri 04-May-12 10:23:42

Clearly this makes sense. Rape Crisis centres cannot be put in jeopardy again. The government have a clear duty to protect the Rape Support Fund. Keep it centralised so that the shameful history of localised bugets and not supporting rape victims is not allowed to destroy such vital services. Save our Rape Crisis Centres!!!!!
I want to shout and scream about this. Anyone else????

Preggersntired Sat 05-May-12 18:46:09

Rape crisis centres need whatever support mumsnet can offer...

MerlinScot Fri 08-Jun-12 13:42:44

I think Mumsnet should support this. Half of the rape and abuse services are shutting down due to the government cuts! Any chance we could petition against it (elsewhere of course, not on mumsnet)? Just asking for advice smile

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