IN Parliament on Thursday Labour raised the concerns of people in Thurrock by bringing attention to the increase in the number of referrals to the South East Rape and Incest Centre. During a debate on vulnerable women Glenys Thornton, Shadow Equalities Minister highlighted that there is an ever growing waiting list for services.
Baroness Thornton said that, South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre has in the first four months of this financial year taken as many referrals as in the whole of last year, and there is a five-month waiting list for access to specialist sexual violence counselling services.
She later paid tribute to the organisations that are committed to help vulnerable women against a climate of cuts and reaffirmed Labour’s commitment to a Â£3million annual fund for refuge support. “We need to pay tribute to the work of Women’s Aid, the End Violence Against Women Coalition, Rape Crisis and others. They do incredible work, but they are under increasing pressure. I fear that with more and more pressure to cut back, these services have little chance of meeting demand. What are the Government proposing to do?”
Labour’s candidate to be Thurrock’s next MP, Polly Billington added: “I know the importance of Sericc’s work – not only as a national pioneer in counselling and support for survivors – but also for the real difference they make for people here in our community who are coming to terms with the abuse and violence they have experienced. If I am elected as Thurrock’s next MP I will do all I can to promote better provision of counselling and support. It can make a real difference for people and is often overlooked.”