SOUTH Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre (SERICC) requested a meeting with the secretary of state for Education, Nicky Morgan MP.
SERICC wanted to discuss the increased referrals to Rape Crisis Centres and the fragility of service provision because of increased demand and ever expanding waiting lists due to the high profile media coverage of sexual abuse since Savile to Oxford. Rochdale, Southend and Rotherham.
Sheila Coates from SERICC pointed out to the Minister that in terms of equality issues Thurrock Council, Essex Police and Crime Commissioner and Thurrock, Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Groups’ should be used as examples of good practice nationally as they all have understood the specific need of sexual violence victims by funding elements of SERICC’s varied services.
Sheila went on to explain the fragility of all SERICC’s funding arrangements at a time when society has begun to lift the lid on sexual violence, child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation, which is encouraging more victims, both adults and children to come forward.
SERICC has received the same number of referrals in the first four months of this year as the whole of last year.
The Minister offered to take the issues raised back to national government to discuss a way forward for the benefit of sexual violence victims.