Our Christmas Appeal

These are unprecedented times at Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre, for both our services and the women and girls we support. We are seeing more survivors of sexual violence and abuse reaching out to us than ever before in our 39 year history.

This is most apparent for our counselling service. Referrals have increased by a huge 183% compared to two years ago.

We have had more women and girls come to us for therapeutic support between May and November this year than in the whole of 2020.

Our counselling service does not have secure long-term funding. Nor has our funding increased to a level that matches need and demand.

This means donations from incredible people like yourself make a tangible difference. They enable us to provide a vital support service for women and girls who have been subjected to sexual violence and abuse.

This is Rachel’s story. Rachel used our counselling service and has chosen to share her experience to show the difference your donation will make for local women and girls:

“We all know that’s a grey area. Get over it. You’re so sensitive.”

University had me in and out of counselling, with my peers always ‘reassuring’ me that no one ever meant any harm. Counsellors dismissed me once it was established that I could continue working without too much disruption.

I graduated and moved to Cambridge. Unable to maintain a healthy partnership, I always believed these layers of experience were just a part of me, and it wasn’t possible to be without the pains that came with that.

I had found that trying to talk to people would put them in one of a few categories, but aside from a feeling of hopelessness that so many individuals were blind to the existence of the very specific hurt I had, the next feelings were ones of – maybe I should look into counselling again.

I called up the NHS, who directed me to Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre (CRCC). It was the first time anyone had ever acknowledged that actually, as a teenager, it counted towards childhood trauma.

That already started a change in my mind. As a child, I had no control or understanding of what was happening.

I started with my counsellor. Having someone question my thought process and unpick the reasons why I thought that way really helped me understand that I can choose which building blocks make me who I am. My counsellor supported my change in attitude towards life, towards my own way of thinking and my mentality towards myself.

I would not be who I am today, happy with who I am and able to get on with life mostly unimpeded by past events. I will always be grateful to CRCC and to my counsellor for welcoming me with kind, warm arms, and listening without judgement.

This is why we are asking for you to make a donation this Christmas, to enable more women and girls to access essential support when they need it most.

By making a donation today you will help us to provide counselling support for women and girls like Rachel, now and throughout the year to come.

We appreciate the difficult times we now live in but if you are able to help, anything you can donate makes a real and lasting difference to our work. You enable us to keep our vital services running and help us to develop our support to meet the needs of survivors.

Wishing you a very happy festive season.

Clare Baker
Fundraising Manger