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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.

KatieScarlett2833 Wed 25-Apr-12 17:13:02

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.

DarthVaderIsMyRealDaddy Wed 25-Apr-12 18:31:05

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.

DarthVaderIsMyRealDaddy Wed 25-Apr-12 20:07:43

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

MmeLindor. 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


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