Due to the ongoing health crisis, lots of charities are reaching out for addiitonal support. One campaign that has just been brought to my attention is for SARSAS, the local rape crisis centre for Bristol and surrounding regions (the acronym is Somerset & Avon, but of course Avon no longer exists as a county).
SARSAS is looking to raise £15,000 through the Aviva Community Fund. As to what the money will be used for, they tell me:
- There are currently 360 women and girls on their waiting list for support
- On average they are receiving 90 new referrals each month — that’s 3 referrals every day
- In some areas the estimated waiting time is nearly four years…
Much of the problem is that government doesn’t care about women’s issues, and local councils are being squeezed for cash so that they can’t help even if they want to. Another major problem is that it is now so hard to obtain a prosecution for rape in this country that the Crown Prosecution Service is starting to decline to progress cases because it would be a waste of money. Sexual predators know that they can get away with their crimes, and that emboldens them.
SARSAS are great folks. I have done training for them on several occasions. As a member of the Women’s Equality Party I am, of course, dedicated to ending violence against women and girls. And as I woman I am only too aware of the need. Please help if you can.