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News and events

Shetland Rape Crisis launch

Today sees the launch of the new Shetland Rape Crisis service at an event at The Mareel in Lerwick. The new service will offer support, advocacy and information to survivors aged 13+ of any form of sexual violence, no matter when in their lives it happened. Support is available to survivors of all genders as well as to family, friends and workers.

The Support & Development worker Linda Gray is based at Voluntary Action Shetland in Lerwick but support will be available at other locations as well as by phone and Vsee to ensure access for all and maximise confidentiality.

Last year 30 sexual crimes were reported in Shetland but Linda highlights: “There can be many reasons why people don’t tell, not only the Police but those around them, so we know this is not the full picture. We are here to offer a safe space to talk, where people will be believed and supported, whether or not they decide to report.”

Sandie Barton, the National Co-ordinator at Rape Crisis Scotland, said: “For too long it has been a postcode lottery about the support available for people affected by sexual crime. People in remote and island communities need access to support and we are really pleased to see the launch of this much needed service.”

The new website launches today, and we can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. To get in touch, find out more or make a referral please get in touch or phone 01595 745078.

The service is funded by the Scottish Government as part of the additional £20 million pounds to tackle violence against women, is managed by Rape Crisis Scotland, with mentoring support from the Rape and Sexual Abuse Service Highland based in Inverness.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson said: “We are absolutely committed to tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence and recognise the importance of supporting victims no matter where they live. Last year we provided extra funding of £1.85 million to Rape Crisis Scotland to help to ensure specialist support is available to victims across Scotland.

“As well as providing the 14 existing rape crisis centres with an 80% boost in funding, this money supported facilitated the opening of new centres in Shetland and Orkney, where historically it has not been easy for victims to access vital services.

“We recognise the importance of the work of Rape Crisis Scotland to ensure victims of sexual violence have a voice and get the help and advice they need and we are pleased to be able to support that vital work.”

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