Devon Rape Crisis Centre contacted 300 times within six months

Devon's Rape Crisis centre helpline has been contacted about 300 times since opening six months ago, volunteers have said.

The Exeter-based service offers help to sexual abuse victims across the county through a helpline before offering face-to-face support.

One volunteer, Josie, said: "There shouldn't be so many calls in such a short space of time".

She added that the total was a combination of new and repeat callers.

The service is for women aged 18 and over in Devon who have experienced any form of sexual violence.

Work to open the centre began in July 2011, with the helpline starting in December.

The centre's staff said that more work was needed to tackle abuse.

Josie said: "Something drastic has to happen. There shouldn't be so many calls in such a short space of time, but there are."

Devon and Cornwall Police said about 600 women reported rape or sexual assault in the county each year.

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