This time last year I was drafting a motion to council in support of the idea of better support for rape and abuse victims in Reading and the surrounding area.
Things may have publicly seemed a bit quiet but don’t let that fool you. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes and campaigners and I have been meeting with a wide range of people to make the case.
National charity, the Survivor’s Trust who first contacted me last July have been particularly helpful and we recently met with them and the Ministry of Justice to push the case.
Yesterday I lobbied the police and crime commissioner to get his support*. I don’t think it’s a party political view that rape and sexual abuse victims need support (regardless of the occasional hurtful/offensive remark from some politicians). I suspect different politicians put different levels of emphasis on it of course.
Anyway the police and crime commissioner was very sympathetic and I believe he will write to the Ministry of Justice supporting the case (I’ve sent him an email today just to follow up and remind him).
So what can we as residents in Reading do? Well Monroes on Broad Street have agreed to host a quiz night to raise funds for a Rape Supprot Centre (money will be paid to the Survivor’s Trust a registered charity but ear marked for services in Reading) on 13th February. Doors open 5.30, quiz starts at 6pm. Do email me to let me know you plan to come (we’d like to know numbers as Monroes are kindly offering a free finger buffet) but alternatively do turn up on the night.
We’re only charging £3 per head and if you haven’t got a team come along and we’ll find you one.
We’re tying this in with the international ‘one billion rising‘ campaign which highlights that one in 3 women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. However our campaign is inclusive and our ultimate goal is a rape support centre for all victims of rape and sexual abuse. The video below is pretty hard to watch the first part of but is a really good introduction to the one billion rising campaign:
* Yes I’ll even work with Tories, I care about this issue so much!