The SNP Government has announced an extra £1.85 million will be invested in providing additional support for victims of sex crimes across Scotland, representing a near doubling of funding for Scotland’s 14 rape crisis centres between 2016 and 2018.
This will go towards advocacy and support workers to assist those going through the criminal justice process and be used to fund a National Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator to coordinate work with young people on issues of consent and healthy sexual relationships.
The Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson, announced the funding during a visit to the Edinburgh Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre. He said:
"We are absolutely committed to tackling domestic abuse and sexual offending in Scotland and this funding will help provide additional support for victims of these terrible crimes.
“Organisations such as Rape Crisis Scotland are doing fantastic work across the country, providing a vital service and giving support and advice for victims of sexual violence. Each local rape crisis centres will receive an 80% rise in financial support and will ensure that women all over Scotland are able to access these vital services.
“This is part of a wide range of measures we are putting in place to tackle sexual violence and support its victims. With this new funding we will ensure better support of victims of violence and sexual assault.
“We are strengthening the law, creating a hostile environment for potential abusers and our next major step will be the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill, providing extra powers against those who commit domestic abuse, harassment and sexual offences, and creating a new offence criminalising the appalling offence known as revenge porn.”
Rape Crisis Scotland National Coordinator, Sandy Brindley, said:
“Rape Crisis Scotland is delighted to receive significant additional funding from the SNP Government to help rape crisis centres across Scotland support survivors who are considering reporting to the police or are going through the police and court process. This funding will enable every rape crisis centre across the country to employ a dedicated support and advocacy worker who will provide much needed support and assistance.”
In March this year, the First Minister announced that an additional £20 million would be invested in a range of measures to tackle all forms of violence against women. This is in addition to the £11.8 million to tackle violence against women as part of the Scottish Government’s equality budget for 2015-16.