Rape Crisis Centres developed from grassroots feminist activism. From the very beginning they have challenged the culture of disbelief and blame often attached to women survivors of sexual violence, while one of their key aims has always been to empower women to take back some control of their lives and to heal. Rape Crisis believes that a woman is never to blame for the violence she may have experienced, and its centres have provided a vital support not only for women who are survivors of recent sexual violence, but also for those who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Unfortunately however, blame is an attitude that still exists.
In 2010 a small group of women started Suffolk Rape Crisis following the realisation that there was no Rape Crisis provision for the women and girls of Suffolk: the previous Rape Crisis service in Suffolk had closed in 2006.
We started off with one phone line in a porter cabin on the grounds of St. Clements hospital, this was manned by a small team of volunteers and some dedicated staff members. Over the years we have grown, we now occupy an office in Ipswich as well as counselling rooms throughout Suffolk. Our helpline has also grown, now offering 4 hours a week over 2 nights.
We are proud to offer a range of services throughout Suffolk for people who have been affected by sexual violence:
- Our free, confidential helpline, which is now open twice per week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Female survivors of rape, sexual abuse and sexual violence aged 14+ can call up to once per session for advice or emotional support. If you are supporting a friend or loved one who has experienced rape or abuse, you can also call us for advice and support.
- Our counselling service, which provides survivors with free, high-quality face to face counselling for up to 25 weeks. We offer counselling at number of discreet locations across Suffolk, supporting survivors in Ipswich, Bury St. Edmunds, Lowestoft and Brandon.
- If you would like counselling and your case is currently being investigated by police or going to court, we can offer Pre-Trial Therapy which is specially designed for survivors who are involved with the criminal justice system.
Who we are, what we do & how we work
Suffolk Rape Crisis (SRC) is a feminist organisation, which aims to:
- Support survivors of rape or sexual abuse aged 14+. We work to empower survivors and help them to maintain control of their lives
- Raise awareness about rape, sexual abuse and sexual violence
- Provide information, guidance, training, and expertise within the community.
- Contribute to policy initiatives and strategies aimed at improving the service provision for survivors.
- Actively challenge the values, beliefs and behaviours which contribute to sexual and gender-based violence .
- Work in partnership with local service providers and communities to promote the values of SRC
Our service is open to anyone aged 14 or above who feels that they need our support. People can contact us days, weeks, months, years and even decades after an assault. It is never too late to talk about the impact of sexual violence; when you feel ready we will be here to support you.
Our service is confidential, and some parts of it, like our helpline, can be completely anonymous if that is what you prefer. If you choose to share something with us, we will not repeat anything you tell us to anyone outside of our organisation. Information is shared within Suffolk Rape Crisis to help us to provide a better service to our clients.