Rape survivor challenges Prime Minister to fund Rape Crisis counselling services

On the 8th March 2019, International Women’s Day) 25-year-old Fern Champion, who was raped in 2016, has launched a petition, and written to the Prime Minister asking her to ensure there is always specialist rape counselling support available for everyone who seeks it. Fern’s letter to the Prime Minister asks for a meeting with her to discuss the appalling absence of adequate funding to specialist independent services in the community. It cites the Istanbul Convention (which the Government will soon ratify) which sets out a minimum provision of support for victims of rape. There needs to be 150 but there are currently only 44 Rape Crisis Centres in England and Wales. To meet the standards of the Istanbul Convention, Fern's letter informs the government it needs to invest a minimum of £195 million into specialist independent, community-based provision, with a significant proportion ring-fenced for specialist BME services that understand the particular barriers to reporting and help-seeking among those who are marginalised.

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