Supporting victims of sexual assault

Funding to expand services in Orkney and Shetland.

Rape crisis services in Orkney and Shetland will receive an extra £38,000 to increase their staff, the Justice Secretary Michael Matheson has announced.

Over the course of two days Mr Matheson met with survivors who have been supported by Shetland and Orkney Rape Crisis Centres to discuss the difference that having local advocacy support services has meant for them.

He said:

“Rape Crisis Scotland does incredible work and is literally a life line to those who need their services. I have had the privilege of meeting with people who have been supported by these new services and they cannot speak highly enough of the support they have received from Shetland and Orkney Rape Crisis.  That is why I am delighted that we are building on the success of the establishment of these local centers and providing additional funding for each.

“Sexual crimes can have a truly devastating impact on people and, particularly when you may feel isolated from family, friends or your community, you need somewhere to turn for support and guidance. This extra £38,000 will mean that Rape Crisis in both Orkney and Shetland can expand their staff.” 

Sandie Barton, Rape Crisis Scotland Director of Operations, said:

“Rape Crisis Scotland is delighted that the Scottish Government have made this commitment to developing these essential services in the Northern Isles. The funding will enable an expanded support & advocacy service to ensure survivors of sexual crime get access to timely support, and enable dedicated support throughout the criminal justice process.”

During his visit Mr Matheson also announced £76,000 funding to support training for up to 50 doctors to carry out examinations of victims of sexual crimes, abuse and rape. In addition to redesigning training for doctors and nursing staff, NHS Education Scotland is creating a clinical position to mentor trainees, look at how more women can be recruited and how the training is promoted.


Rape Crisis Shetland and Orkney are part of a national network of centres established with £1.85 million support from the Scottish Government between 2015-16 and 2017-18.


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