Cash worry for North Wales rape crisis centre

A rape crisis line celebrating its 25th anniversary fears it might not have the funding to see out the summer. North Wales Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre says it may have to close in two months’ time.

The Caernarfon service, with one full-time and one part-time staff member and 50 volunteers, receives 2,000 calls a year and supports 88 clients.

This week Welsh police forces launched a summertime rape awareness campaign encouraging victims to come forward.

The campaign includes a hard-hitting television advert targeting men.

The key message is “Rape: Short word – long sentence”.

Sexual assault referral centres are signed up to the campaign, which includes posters aimed at encouraging people to report incidents to police.

The posters will be displayed at various locations throughout Wales, such as in bars, clubs, doctor’s surgeries, colleges and universities.

‘Back up’

But Catherine Moseley, director of North Wales Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre, has raised the prospect of her organisation closing within weeks of the campaign finishing.

She said the centre faced increased referrals from police and social services which were not backed by financing.

She said: “We are in a right pickle with our funding. Many sources have dried up and we are getting more and more referrals from the North Wales Police and social services without the adequate back-up from them to finance our work.”

Ms Moseley also oversees the training of staff, the helpline, fundraising, the admin and support to the volunteers along with her part-time staff member.

She said: “We need over £100,000 every year just to survive and maintain. That’s without increasing our staff members to provide the service to our increasing number of clients.

“We don’t want to stop the service after 25 years but can only continue for another two months as it is.”

North Wales Police and Gwynedd council have been asked to comment.