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Rape Crisis England & Wales statement on harassment of one of its member Centres

15 Feb 2019

Rape Crisis (Wycombe, Chiltern and South Bucks) is a registered charity and professionally approved member Rape Crisis Centre of Rape Crisis England & Wales, serving the areas of Wycombe, Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire.

It is a specialist organisation offering free and confidential support services to all women survivors of sexual violence and abuse in all its forms, whether it happened recently or in the past. The charity provides an equal opportunities service to all women, regardless of race, cultural background, sexual orientation, and disability. Women from all walks of life are welcomed and supported by Rape Crisis (Wycombe, Chiltern and South Bucks), and experience the Centre as a safe and appropriate environment in which to heal.

Rape Crisis (Wycombe, Chiltern and South Bucks) recognises that some groups of women who have survived sexual violence and abuse can face additional barriers to accessing services, including related to language and to the fear and/or past or current experience of racism and racial discrimination. As part of its commitment to accessibility and inclusion, it therefore offers a specialist service for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic women aimed at overcoming some of these barriers.

An image of a leaflet advertising this specialist BAME service was recently posted on social media with a misleading caption. Since then, Rape Crisis (Wycombe, Chiltern and South Bucks) has received a significant volume of abusive phone calls, messages and emails, many of which are of an overtly racist nature, and the police have been informed. These activities have disrupted much-needed service provision for victims and survivors of sexual violence and abuse of all ethnicities and backgrounds.

Rape Crisis England & Wales supports Rape Crisis (Wycombe, Chiltern and South Bucks) and all its member Rape Crisis Centres in the provision of fully inclusive, accessible services, including specialist work with specific groups of under-served, minoritised or marginalised victims and survivors.