About CRCC

Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre

Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre was set up as a confidential helpline in 1982 by a small group of local women. It was a response to a growing awareness of sexual violence against women and girls, and the need to provide a safe space.

The centre gave many women their first chance to talk openly about their experiences of rape, sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse and other forms of violence. It also meant they could support each other in their recovery and healing.

Today, more than 40 years later, we have expanded to become a specialist sexual violence organisation delivering a range of support services each year to over a thousand people in Cambridgeshire who are survivors of rape, sexual abuse and sexual violence.

We also provide training for either individuals and organisations, on a wide range of issues surrounding sexual violence.

We fundamentally believe women and girls.

The principles of being confidential, non-directional (letting you make your own choices) and non-judgemental underpin all our services.

We believe that survivors are experts in their own healing, which is why receiving your feedback on our services is so important to us.

CRCC is a feminist organisation. Feminism informs the organisation’s ethos, activities and the way our services are delivered. CRCC believes:

  • Sexual violence is a cause and consequence of gender inequality
  • The threat of sexual violence is a way of controlling women

As a feminist organisation, CRCC also:

  • Believes women and girls.
  • Provides a women-only space.
  • Actively challenges myths and victim-blaming throughout our work.
  • Collectivises the experiences of individual women and girls to help women and girls understand their own experiences of sexual violence.
  • Feminism informs CRCC’s practice in challenging and changing the social acceptance of sexual violence.

Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre adheres to the Rape Crisis National Service Standards and is a professionally approved Rape Crisis Centre. We are also an autonomous member of both Rape Crisis England and Wales and The Survivors’ Trust.

Our mission

To ensure women and girls across Cambridgeshire who are being subjected to, or have been subjected to, any form of sexual violence are able to access the best possible, user-led, specialist support and information. We are dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of sexual violence in our community, with the ultimate goal of ending rape and sexual violence.

Our vision

All women and girls should be free from the fear and experience of sexual violence.

Our values

The work of CRCC is underpinned by a strong set of values:

Equality – we are committed to equality and inclusivity, and oppose discrimination in everything we do. This comes out of an awareness that women experience disadvantage and discrimination because of their gender, class, ethnicity, disability status, religion and age; amongst other factors.

Respect – we treat all survivors as individuals and provide a non-judgemental service, whilst recognising women and girls’ survival strategies and treating women and girls with dignity.

Transparency – we provide open and transparent services that validate survivors’ feelings, dispel myths around sexual violence and empower and enable survivors.

Choice – we work in partnership with other agencies to offer women and girls a choice around the services they access and how they access them.

Quality – we strive to provide a safe and effective service that is of high quality and professional at all times.

Our aims

  • Provide specialist support to women and girls who have experienced or are experiencing rape, childhood sexual abuse or any form of sexual violence.
  • Securing high quality sexual violence services for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence.
  • Raising awareness of sexual violence, its prevalence and effects.
  • Build our collective expertise to improve services and policies for the benefit of survivors.
  • Press for change and promote the importance and need for appropriate, high-quality and specialised support for survivors.
  • End rape and sexual violence.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre (CRCC) recognises that many people in our society experience discrimination or lack of opportunity for a variety of characteristics identified as protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

CRCC aims to be an employer and service provider that actively promotes equality of opportunity and freedom from direct and associative discrimination and we make every effort to relate to all people in a respectful and equal manner in the belief that all individuals should be treated on the basis of individual merit and without prejudice.

We believe everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and are committed to making our organisation and the services we provide as inclusive as possible.

We will always continue to do everything we can to make all clients, staff and volunteers feel welcome, safe and supported.

We acknowledge that we still have some way to go before we are fully inclusive and that our clients, staff and organisation as a whole are not yet representative of our community. We are committed to changing this throughout our organisation, at all levels, by continuing to welcome individuals with protected characteristics as clients, staff and volunteers and ensuring our staff and volunteers receive regular training around supporting and working with individuals with protected characteristics.

You can read more about our commitment to being an inclusive organisation in our Equality Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

Anti-Racism Statement

Black and racially minoritised people are disproportionately affected by sexual violence and frequently face additional barriers to accessing support.

CRCC is committed to anti-racist practice with anti-racism being a core part of our organisational strategy and our Board will hold accountability for this.

We take an intersectional approach to challenging gender-based violence, recognising that people from multiple marginalised groups can face more than one form of oppression and discrimination.

We have signed the VAWG Anti-Racism Charter, which calls for an end to the systemic marginalisation of Black and minoritised women.

Substantive equality

CRCC recognises the importance of striving for substantive equality, which is a principle that refers to the achievement of true equality in outcomes. It is achieved through equal access, equal opportunity and, most importantly, the provision of services and benefits in a manner and according to standards that meet any unique needs and circumstances, such as cultural, social, economic and historical disadvantage.

Substantive equality is both a process and an end goal relating to outcomes that seeks to acknowledge and overcome the barriers that have led to the inequality in the first place.

When substantive equality in outcomes does not exist, inequality remains.

Women-only spaces

The Equality Act 2010 recognises that some groups (e.g. women) are disadvantaged in some areas of life as a consequence of past or current discrimination and exclusion. The Act enables CRCC to take steps to help women overcome disadvantage and meet needs that are different from the needs of other groups whilst increasing participation.

Women-only (and girl-only) services are legal and appropriate, where it can be shown to be the most effective way of providing those services, or where the service is needed by one sex only. Women need access to safe, separate and non-judgmental services. CRCC provides values and protects safe, accessible women-only spaces for women and girl service users.

This includes those women and girls who are trans and non-binary AFAB (Assigned Female At Birth) individuals and those who have experienced oppression as a woman, and who feel comfortable receiving support from a service that is run by women for women.