Sexual violence can affect anyone. Despite stereotypes involving strangers jumping out from behind bushes, most people are assaulted by someone they know, including partners, family members and acquaintances. Sexual violence is frightening, degrading and humiliating and can have a significant and long-term impact.
For over 30 years, the rape crisis movement in Scotland has supported survivors who have experienced sexual violence, pressed for legal change and countered the many myths about rape and sexual abuse. It is now a thriving network of 13 member centres which provide free and confidential support to survivors of sexual violence by telephone, letter, email and in person. A national office – Rape Crisis Scotland (RCS) – supports the work of local centres and develops new centres in areas where there are no or few specialist services.
This report gives a brief overview of the main developments within RCS and its affiliated centres over the past year. In this time, there have been many significant developments both within RCS and within the criminal justice system.
The RCS helpline, a free and confidential service offering initial support and information, is open every day from 6pm to 12 midnight. Police forces across Scotland operate a referral system on an opt out basis to our helpline, meaning that help and support is provided on a proactive basis to survivors of sexual violence.
Added: February 5, 2015