Northamptonshire Rape Crisis marks 30 years of supporting survivors of sexual violence

A poster from an awareness campaign launched by Northamptonshire Rape Crisis

A poster from an awareness campaign launched by Northamptonshire Rape Crisis

0
Have your say

Northamptonshire Rape Crisis has marked 30 years of helping survivors of sexual violence to cope, recover and move on.

The service opening its doors on March 5, 1986, and now has more than 30 counsellors helping women, and men, across the county.

It originally was set up to help women and girls who had experienced sexual violence, abuse and rape.

Originally funded by Northampton Borough Council, the centre was situated at 3 Hazel Wood Road before moving to its current location on Billing Road in November 2011. It is now self-funded and the service is responsible for sourcing its own financial backing.

In 2005 the service expanded to include services for men and boys, and now provides services to women, men and children over 14 years old providing counselling, support, group work and a helpline.

NRC is free and acts independently from both health and police services, which means there is no pressure to report.

Dawn Thomas, the centre’s CEO and co-chair of RapeCrisis England Wales, stated that Northamptonshire Rape Crisis strives to raise awareness of sexual violence and individual’s rights.

“We have been involved in a number of campaigns over the years including Reclaim the Night which sees men and women come together annually to march through the town raising awareness and with the vision to end sexual violence in all its forms,” she said.

“As the centre heads into its 30th year it continues to expand and is able to offer more services despite times of national austerity.

“November 2015 saw the launch of our #ConsentIs campaign in partnership with Northamptonshire Police through a series of posters and postcards to challenge the myths and stereotypes surrounding rape and sexual violence.

“The campaign continues to gain momentum this year through social media and the most recent intake of counsellors takes the figures from just eight in 2011 to 35 by the end of March 2016.

“This year also sees the launch of a new eight-week programme, Enlighten, designed to nurture and empower women who have experienced sexual violence,” she added.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence contact NRC’s free helpline for confidential advice and support on 0300 222 59 30 or visit www.nricc.co.uk.