Manchester

Trafford Rape Crisis to get government funding

Rape victims in Greater Manchester will receive support at a new centre after the government announced extra funding for better access to dedicated help.

The Ministry of Justice is spending £600,000 on four centres in Sale, Hereford, Exeter and Bournemouth.

Trafford Rape Crisis centre opened in July as a pilot but can now stay open.

Dr Kate Cook, from the centre, said: "We are incredibly excited to be receiving some funding from the government to help us to do this."

'Devastating crimes'

Dr Cook added: "It is wonderful they have announced it on International Women's Day."

The centre supports all female victims of sexual abuse, including those who are victims of historic abuse.

It also supports women who do not want to report the rape to police, Dr Cook said.

Justice Minister Crispin Blunt said: "Rape and sexual violence are devastating crimes which ruin lives.

"By providing long-term funding for a new rape support centre in Trafford, the government is demonstrating its commitment to ensure that the most vulnerable victims of crime receive the specialist support they need to rebuild their lives."

'Prioritising the issue'

The £600,000 is in addition to £10.5m funding, over three years, for existing rape support centres in England and Wales.

The funding announcement came as the national domestic violence charity Women's Aid said more than half of the services that helped victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence nationwide could face closure because of government cuts.

A survey for the charity found 60% of refuge services and 72% of outreach services had no funding agreed from next month.

The government said funding of specialist services was a matter for local councils and that it had urged authorities not to cut such services.

"We are prioritising the issue centrally and we expect local areas to follow our lead," a spokesman added.

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