For over 30 years, we have been at the forefront of campaigning against sexual violence. We have been influential in changing attitudes and in changing laws. From a handful of women who wanted to “do something”, we are now represented at the heart of government on the National Group to tackle Violence Against Women as well as partners with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS).
The first two rape crisis centres in Scotland opened in Glasgow in 1976 and in Edinburgh in 1978. Originally relying on voluntary contributions and occasional small grants, funding improved from 1983 onwards but remained patchy and short term. Between 1994 and 1996 the constitution for a new Scottish Rape Crisis Network was drafted and approved by the Inland Revenue. This subsequently became Rape Crisis Scotland (formerly the Scottish Rape Crisis Network) with a national office funded by the Scottish Government. Rape Crisis Scotland currently has nine affiliated member and three associate member centres. The Scottish Government supports Rape Crisis Scotland and local centres through the Rape Crisis Specific Fund.
In 2009, we marked the experiences of the many women involved in the first 15 years by publishing Woman to Woman, An Oral History of Rape Crisis in Scotland 1976-1991.
This is a powerful account of the strength in taking action together, of centres emerging and skills and knowledge developed. It charts a movement based on extraordinary effort by many individuals to respond to the pain and the wrongs experienced by so many women and girls, for so long. A hard copy of this publication is available from Rape Crisis Scotland at the cost of £5.00 plus p&p. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to order a copy.
We’d love to hear from women who were involved from 1991 onwards as we hope to continue our recording of stories of those involved in the movement. Please get in touch.