No Sex Please – Because We Are The City Council

A COUNSELLING organisation is struggling to bid for support – because a council’s email system blocks the word “sexual”.

Wirral’s Rape and Sexual Abuse centre (RASA) emails automatically bounce back from Liverpool council.

Despite months of protests about the web “profanity” filter, service co-ordinator Jo Wood has been told she must ring the council every time she clicks “send”.

She said it makes dealing with a funding bid hugely difficult.

Despite 48% of the charity’s clients coming from Liverpool, the council has not included RASA in a £450,000 funding scheme for victims of domestic violence.

Because of the email ban the hard-up organisation has had to send a plea for help to 90 Liverpool councillors via the post.

Jo Wood said: “This ridiculous situation sums up the council’s entire attitude to this issue.

“In refusing our request for funding they said the people of Liverpool could not access the service – but we are a telephone helpline.

“I need to discuss the decision but I refuse to dumb down by avoiding the words sexual abuse, it is not only humiliating but it demeans people who have been assaulted in this way.

“If I’m expected to ring the council every time, what’s the point of sending an email in the first place?”

A Liverpool council spokeswoman said: “The council has a secure email system and words which are deemed inappropriate will result in the email being quarantined.

“However, it is made clear that if the email is work-related a call to our IT department, either from the sender or the recipient, will release the email and it will be sent.

“We have invested around £450,000 in groups based in the north, south and centre of the city.

“RASA applied for funding from us and their bid was given full consideration, however it was important we gave priority to groups based in Liverpool. There will be more opportunities in the future for RASA to bid for funding.”