Continuing to support survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic

These last few months have been challenging for everyone and now we are starting to see a return to some sort of normality, I wanted to keep you updated with how this has affected Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre and our work supporting survivors impacted by rape and sexual violence.

We are still here for survivors

Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre has been here throughout lockdown and we will continue to be here as restrictions ease. We are doing everything we can to safeguard our services now and for the future.

All our services continue to operate but the changes we made back in March are still in place for the safety of our survivors, staff and volunteers.

As reminder, this means:

  • Our helpline and email support services are running as normal.
  • Our advocacy service is running as normal but with face-to-face services being offered by phone or online.
  • Our counselling services are also running as normal but with face-to-face services being offered by phone or online.

Between April – June 2020 we provided support to over 200 survivors:

  • We responded to 351 emails through our email support service;
  • Took 153 calls on our telephone helpline service;
  • Received 43 referrals for our trauma informed counselling service and;
  • Received 36 referrals for our Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy service.

We anticipate that, now lockdown restrictions are being lifted, we will start to see a surge in demand for support services and so we are preparing for that. We know that many survivors are currently unable to reach out for support due to their home or living circumstances or with limited access to technologies that enable access to online support.

Looking ahead

We are starting to plan our phased return to the office and hope to have some staff back in September, in accordance with government guidance. Due to the limited space available to us we are not able to have all staff and volunteers return the office at once so we anticipate a mix of a rota based system and remote working over the coming months.

We are also working hard to plan for the reintroduction of limited face to face work in line with government guidance and in ways that maintains and protects the health and well-being of staff, volunteers and service users.

The pandemic has obviously had a significant impact on our finances. This is for various reasons that include the costs associated with being able to provide our services remotely, the loss of event and fundraised income and changes in the personal circumstances of those who might normally donate.

We have secured emergency funding, where available, and have adopted new ways we can fundraise to support our work. We have not had to make any staffing changes, in fact all our staff have continued to work as normal throughout.

As always, your continued support makes a big difference. If you feel you able to help, please do donate or fundraise to support our work. Follow us on social media – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – and sign up to receive our emails. Sharing our messages, means we can reach even more people.

We are here for you

We want to reassure survivors of rape, child sexual abuse and all forms of sexual violence that we are still here, and you are not alone. Please contact us if you need support.

Thank you for your support and understanding, stay safe and we will continue to keep you updated.

Norah Al-Ani

We have a range of self-help resources, including our self-help guide, here for those who would like them.