Write to your MSP
Write to your MSP to tell them that survivors can't wait.
We've suggested some text below but please feel free to write your own message. You can find details of who your MSPs are and how to contact them from the Scottish Parliament website.
As your constituent, I am writing to you to express my concern about the funding situation facing Rape Crisis Centres across Scotland. Rape Crisis services are emergency services. They provide essential crisis and longer term support for survivors of sexual violence. Survivors often describe this support as lifesaving. It’s vital that these services can provide support quickly to every person who has experienced sexual violence who reaches out to them.
The demand for the services of Rape Crisis Centres is ever growing. This means that many Rape Crisis Centres are being forced to operate waiting lists. This isn’t a position any Centre wants to be in, but Centres simply do not have the resources to meet demand. At the end of September 2023, over 800 survivors were on a waiting list for Rape Crisis support. This must be addressed.
These waiting lists aren’t inevitable or acceptable. To tackle them, and to secure long term provision of these vital services
- Emergency waiting list funding must be extended beyond March 2024
- The Scottish Government should commit to long term funding (beyond three years) for Rape Crisis Centres in Scotland which meets the needs of Centres to serve survivors
In 2021, the Scottish Government granted emergency funding to most Rape Crisis Centres to tackle waiting lists. This funding is due to expire in March 2024, but it is still acutely needed. If the funding expires, 28 specialist Rape Crisis support worker posts will be lost across Scotland. This would have a devastating impact on survivors’ ability to access support across the country.
Long-term funding for these services, which for survivors, are emergency services, is crucial. The need for sustainable funding was highlighted in the Independent Review of Funding and Commissioning of Violence Against Women and Girls Services. Services like Rape Crisis should not be dependent on short-term, precarious pots of funding. This leaves specialist, highly trained workers, and service users with unacceptable uncertainty about the future of services.
Rape Crisis Centres work hard to be there for every survivor who needs them. To ensure no survivor is left waiting weeks or even months to receive support, more resources are urgently needed.
I hope you will agree that in a Scotland which takes combatting violence against women and girls seriously, these vital services should be properly resourced. I am writing to ask you as my MSP to raise this issue with the Scottish Government and ask for a commitment to address the funding crisis facing rape crisis centres.
I look forward to your response.