Home Secretary visits Wirral's Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre

During her visit to Wirral, the Home Secretary, The Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP, praised the work of Wirral's Rape & Sexual Abuse (RASA) Centre.

The Centre was established by Jo Wood MBE, close to where Diane Sindall was raped and murdered in 1986.

The Centre now supports victims of rape and the volunteers work with 3,000 men, women and children.

Speaking to the Wirral Globe, the Home Secretary said: “One of my priorities is about vulnerability.

“I really got into politics to help women and campaign for better treatment and equality for women.

“It’s also about protecting vulnerable people and violence. Violence against women is also one of my priorities.

“We’re bringing forward a domestic abuse bill and while I was up here I thought I would go and see the RASA centre to see what goes on there, see if we can offer any support and see what issues they were addressing.”

Josephine Wood MBE, Chief Executive of Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre, said: “We have been delighted to welcome the Home Secretary to our Birkenhead Centre today. We have been based here for over 26 years and have welcomed thousands of individuals into its safe and comforting environment.  In this year alone we will welcome around 500 adult and 100 child survivors of Sexual violence in Wirral.

“Many people still believe rape and sexual abuse only happens to ‘someone else’ but when 1 in 5 adult women and 1 in 8 adult men are reporting they have been a victim of sexual violence at some point in their lives, our specialist services will always be needed and will always be stretched to capacity.  Today has given us an opportunity to explain that when it comes to sexual violence services it’s not ‘can we afford to fund them’ – but rather ‘can we afford not to’.”

Councillor Lesley Rennie added: “This Centre is a lifeline for people in Wirral when they need it most.  During my years as a police officer in Wallasey, I helped many people who had been raped and sexually abused – in those days, we never had a centre such as this.  It was good for us to have the chance to show the Home Secretary the work done here and the issues faced by those who need its support.”