Croydon’s rape crisis centre is to receive an urgent cash boost.
Last month, we reported how the centre, the only one in London, had a six-month waiting list for off-peak appointments and a waiting list of up to a year for evening appointments.
London Mayor Boris Johnson has now announced a £1.4m investment in rape crisis centres in London.
The money will be used to open two new centres, alleviating the heavy burden on the Croydon centre, as well as giving Croydon extra funds.
The news is a welcome relief to Yvonne Trainer, manager of the Croydon centre, who had said any wait could be devastating for the hundreds of women who have taken the brave step of talking about what happened to them.
This funding, over three years, has been found through efficiency savings and is part of the Mayor’s manifesto to tackle violence against women.
Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor for policing, said: “We were seeing reported rape was rising and we felt something needed to be done.
“It has taken a little bit of time to get the money together but I make no apology for the delay.”
Mr Malthouse said the rape crisis centres were just one facet of the Mayor’s plan to tackle the problem, adding it was hard to tell if the rise in cases reflected a rise in rapes or in the reporting of rapes.
He said the police had more of a role to play and announced rape officers would now be working in the specialist crime unit in a bid to try and increase the low conviction rate.
Mayor Boris Johnson said: “For far too long, hundreds of thousands of women who have suffered appalling crimes of sexual violence in the capital have been let down.
“A combination of underfunding and neglect has left a city of over 7m people with just one rape crisis centre.
“This new long-term funding demonstrates our wholehearted commitment to reverse the years of neglect of those affected by sexual violence and to end violence against women in the capital.”