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Rape Crisis launches National Service Standards

25 Nov 2011

Rape Crisis (England and Wales) and Rape Crisis Scotland launch new National Service Standards

To coincide with International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women 25th November 2011, Rape Crisis (England and Wales) and Rape Crisis Scotland have launched their new National Service Standards for Rape Crisis Centres.  The standards represent a collaboration between the two national umbrella organisations and are the culmination of a process of research, reflection, consultation and definition spanning five years.

The standards describe in detail what is needed in order to deliver effective specialist sexual violence services. They cover the wider aspects of managing an organisation as well the more specific detail of services to survivors of rape and sexual assault such as the need to provide confidentiality and ensure safety.

Val Lunn, National Development Manager for RC(EW) said: “At Rape Crisis, our aim is to ensure that wherever in the UK a woman or girl who has experienced sexual violence lives, she can receive high-quality and specialised support from any Rape Crisis Centre she approaches for help.  The National Service Standards are based on over 30 years of working day in day out with women and girls who have experienced sexual violence.  They are a set of best practice guidelines to support every Rape Crisis Centre to give a woman the support she needs to move forward and get on with her life.”

Sandy Brindley, National Co-ordinator for Rape Crisis Scotland, added: “We want to clearly state what makes our services different from non-specialist support services for victims of sexual violence.  Our values and feminist ethos are so important to our model of working with survivors of sexual violence and they underpin the standards.”

Rape Crisis Centres, who have been consulted extensively during the development of the standards, welcome their arrival.  Norah al-Ani from Cambridge Rape Crisis, one of the Centres involved in the pilot of the standards, said: “Working to the Standards will reassure the women and girls who have been affected by rape and sexual assault that when they walk through our door, they will receive services of the highest quality. These standards also reflect how we are a reliable and serious organisation providing services that are relevant and responsive to local need.”

Rape Crisis Centres will be introduced to the Standards at a series of regional roadshows being delivered throughout December and January.