13th Apr, 2021

Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre sets £40k fund-raising target to mark 40 years of support

A CHARITY which has helped more than 76,000 rape and sexual abuse victims and survivors is marking its 40th anniversary with a £40,000 fund-raising drive.

The Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC) supported 2,933 people from 2019 to 2020, including 230 children and young people aged between five and 18.

CRASAC is now looking for volunteers to help complete 40 fund-raisers to help the charity reaching its target in 2021.

Those raising cash can choose any activity, from sponsored walks and runs to online quizzes and head shaves.

Businesses are also being encouraged to consider CRASAC as their chosen charity for any fundraising projects this year.

CRASAC was established in 1981 to offer a telephone counselling service to those who had been sexually abused.

It was initially run by volunteers but in 1990 was able to employ two full-time members of staff and has since grown to employ more than 30 employees and many more volunteers.

It now provides a range of specialist support services including a helpline which has received almost 60,000 calls over the 40 years, as well as counselling, advocacy and outreach services.

Due to the pandemic, most services are currently being carried out online, over the phone and via email and text, with face-to-face sessions being held whenever possible.

A number of voluntary opportunities are available and full training is provided.

Natalie Thompson, CEO of CRASAC, said: “We are extremely proud to be celebrating our 40th year of providing specialist sexual violence services to people right across the city.

“The charity has grown considerably over the years which is testament to our extremely committed staff and volunteers who provide an invaluable service to those who have experienced rape and sexual abuse.

“We’re the only organisation to offer this kind of support in Coventry and have gone from receiving referrals in the 10s in the early days to helping thousands of people every year.”

The £40,000 is aimed at enabling the charity to provide its support services for free.

Natalie added there were a number of common myths, surrounding sexual violence, such as that it is usually committed by strangers – in reality, 89 per cent of rape victims actually know them.

“The impact that sexual violence has on someone is emotional, physical and economical, and it can be life-threatening.”

Email fundraising@crasac.org.uk or visit www.crasac.org.uk/getinvolved to find out more about the fund-raising.

For help and support from CRASAC, visit www.crasac.org.uk or call the helpline on 02476 277777.

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