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The development and piloting of tools to measure the impact of Rape Crisis intervensions on health, mental health and well-being
A research project of the Department of Sociology.
The decline in the number of Rape Crisis Centres over the last decade due to funding difficulties has been much publicised. Here in the North East and Cumbria, the Northern Rock Foundation (NRF) funding has played a significant role in preventing closures. However, NRF funding is designed primarily to promote project development and new initiatives rather than to provide long-term sustainability. Nationally, Rape Crisis (England and Wales) has had a recent success when Harriet Harman announced the £1 million ‘emergency’ funding to Rape Crisis Centres. However, there is still a strong push towards the provision of local funding for local centres, with PCT commissioning potentially playing a large role in this.
There has never been a more pressing need to be able to demonstrate the value of Rape Crisis, particularly in the health field. While there has been acknowledgement of the impact violence against women has on health, for example through the Victims and Violence and Abuse Prevention Programme, there has been little financial commitment.
This project will develop and pilot tools to measure the impact of Rape Crisis interventions on health and mental health. In doing so, it will make the value of Rape Crisis interventions more explicit to healthcare professionals. As this research aims to develop, alongside Rape Crisis Centres, the ‘tools’ with which voluntary sector organisations can demonstrate their ‘value’ to funders, it should contribute towards the availability of services and also a longer term increase in statutory and charitable resources, particularly those related to health (e.g. PCT commissioning).
Literature review, interviews, ongoing project support through the piloting phase.
Data is still being collected.