Glasgow & Clyde Rape Crisis

We have had so much happening at the Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre this year with lots of fundraising and our 40th anniversary events. We've made lots of valued friends and been delighted with all of our supporters who have been running events and fundraisers to help us deliver our service. Here's what we've been up to...

In this edition:

Rape Crisis Centre’s 40th Anniversary

On 24th November 2016 the Rape Crisis Centre marked 40 years of delivering support and advocacy services to survivors of sexual violence. In our early days we supported survivors across most of the West of Scotland though today our area is a little smaller covering Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde. That’s still a pretty large area containing almost a quarter of the total population of Scotland and the most diverse population anywhere in the country.

For our anniversary event we were delighted to welcome the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equality, Angela Constance MSP who spoke about the commitment from the Scottish Government to challenging attitudes and behaviours that contribute to the still unacceptably high levels of gender based violence across Scotland. Having this support means a lot to Rape Crisis as an organisation and to the survivors of sexual violence that we support.

On the day we were also really pleased to welcome a number of colleagues from the University of Strathclyde where we’ve been working closely with the Equally Safe in Higher Education in building a national toolkit that can be used in universities across the country. Our second speaker, Dr Veena O’Halloran formally announced the partnership between the Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre and the University of Strathclyde. We expect 2017 to be a busy and productive year for all of us.

We must also thank Rachel Bottomley from Happy Customer Events who gave her expertise, time and energy to organise the event. We were so lucky to have Rachel in the driving seat, making sure everything went smoothly and sponsors were in place to fund the event for us. We certainly couldn’t have organised such a wonderful event without her expertise. Also thanks to all the sponsors who supported us, and to the staff of 29 Royal Exchange Square who were superb.

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Our Fundraising success

Since two of our patrons, Denise Mina and Lauren Mayberry launched our year of fundraising on 29th March 2016 we have worked hard, and had many people working hard on our behalf and we have so far (to 30th November 2016) raised a fabulous £17,000. We are still in the throes of some fundraising events so we’re hoping that by the end of 2016 that total will have increased significantly. We’ve had some great times, been amazed at the entertaining and creative way people have raised funds for us and have been delighted that so many people support our organisation. So far this year we’ve had lots of events and fundraising initiatives including:


  • An amazing book sale – great fun and lots of books to buy. We’re still reading our purchases.
  • Lots of people running in this year’s Great Scottish Run and raising several thousand pounds for us
  • A pub quiz (RCC Manager’s team won the trophy – and it wasn’t a fix)
  • A fantastic Halloween Party
  • A brilliant gig organised by the Classic Grand club with 7 bands and performers giving their time and talent to raise lots of money for us
  • Glasgow Caledonian University Cheerleaders who did an astonishing and extremely energetic 12 hour ‘Danceathon’. We are still amazingly impressed by the sheer amount of energy and stamina!
  • Glasgow University students collecting for us during Freshers Week
  • All the people who have donated to us through our Just Giving page
  • Staff at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde who collected a huge bag of foreign currency for us at their offices in Gartnavel Hospital

…. and of course everyone who donated gifts, books, bottles of wine, whisky and other strange brews, flowers and perfumes. Everything you donated has helped us reach this amazing total and contributes to keeping our centre open.


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The Write to End Violence Against Women

This year we are delighted to report that one of our volunteers, Ailish Carroll-Brentnall has been shortlisted for the Write to End Violence Against Women awards in the Best Blog category.

The blog written by Ailish was posted on the Rape Crisis Centre website on 4th May 2016 and focused on ‘lad culture’ and sexual violence on campus. You can read Ailish’s blog here. It’s an excellent piece and extremely topical with the focus there has been this year on campus sexual violence and the global 16 Days of Action theme of “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All.”

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Are we busy? Well ….

Calculating our figures for 8 months from 1st April 2016 to 30th November 2016 we’re a bit surprised at just how busy we have actually been. When we’re in the middle of it day-to-day we don’t have time to think about the numbers but looking at the database always gives is a bit of a start. Here are some of the headline stats:

  • Number of calls, texts and emails; 8,898 (projecting a 13% rise to end of year)
  • Number of individual survivors supported: 891 (projecting a 25% rise to end of year)
  • Number of ‘one-off’ contacts: 513

The impact of sexual violence, abuse and exploitation can be experienced over many years. Survivors tell us that their lives have been affected by, for example:
  • Anger: 22%
  • Anxiety: 37%
  • Self-harming behaviour: 24%
  • Sleep disruption: 34%
  • Poor mental health: 49%
  • Fear/restricted movement: 37%
  • Panic attacks/Flashback: 30%
  • Feeling isolated: 16%

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Friends of Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre

In 1976 a group of women came together to open a service that would provide support to survivors of rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse, a service that could be accessed by women, no matter when in their lives the sexual violence had happened.

Forty years later, the project still delivers support to survivors, their partners and family members in Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde but there are a wide range of different services provided by Rape Crisis reflecting the diversity of the population we cover and recognising that sexual violence can be experienced by women regardless of age, class, race, religion, ability or sexual orientation.

You can support the work of the rape crisis centre by becoming a Friend of Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre and pledging a one-off donation or a minimum of £2.00 per month to help our work develop and grow.

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I’d like to be a Friend of Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre. What do I do?

Right now, all you have to do is send us an email with the heading ‘FRIEND’ and your name and contact number. We will get in touch to find out how you’d like to support us and let you know how to get easy access to our monthly newsletters, help distribute information about our service, follow us on social media and help make sure that anyone who needs support can find out about it easily and quickly. We’ll also keep you up to date with any events we’re having.

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Volunteer Training at GRCC

This year’s second volunteer training programme began on 2nd October so we’re well into the training now and everyone is getting completely engrossed in the work. Trainee helpline volunteers are now shadowing helpline shifts and sitting in with experienced support workers so they are getting a flavour of what the support work is really like and the diversity of calls and instant messages we receive each shift.

This training programme won’t be finished until March 2017 so there’s still a long way to go for these trainees. It’s a big commitment but everyone agrees it’s worth it for the learning and the experience of working at Rape Crisis.

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Reclaim the Night 2016

This year, Glasgow’s Reclaim the Night event was organised by student associations in the city. Glasgow Rape Crisis was asked to speak at the post-march event which was held at the Strathclyde University Student Union. We were really glad to be sharing the floor with our local MP, Alison Thewliss who spoke about the amazing work she has been doing at Westminster with her ‘Scrap the Rape Clause’ campaign. See more about Alison’s work on this issue here.

We’d also like to thank the event organisers for fundraising for us on the night. The badges they made and sold raised over £250 for us. Well done to everyone.

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Volunteers of the Month for September and October

We’ve been lagging a bit with our newsletters with so much fundraising work, getting busier and busier at the Centre and of course planning our 40th Anniversary event. Hopefully we’ve caught up with ourselves now and can get back to normal with our news and events.

We have two months of Volunteer of the Month winners to congratulate. For September 2016, our Volunteer of the Month is Steph Coyle who was overwhelmingly voted for by her colleagues. Our Volunteer of the Month for October is Michelle Livingston. Certificates for both of these great volunteers and one more month of votes for November Volunteer of the Month before our Volunteer of the Year 2016 is chosen.

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Five minute interview...

With Stef Panescu of the Ruby Project

What’s your job – and how long have you been doing it?

I am a support and development worker for the Ruby Project and I started on this job in October 2015.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I think witnessing the women’s progress, seeing them recovering and becoming more hopeful about their future is definitely a special role. Also the fact that, as workers, we are encouraged to be creative and use different therapeutic tools and draw on a broad range of trauma-focused interventions makes me really enjoy my work.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

There are so many things we have very little control over when working with asylum-seeking women. A lot of them describe their asylum seeking experience as living in a limbo, and any negative decisions or delays impact on their well-being and capacity for recovery. This process and the effects of the rape or other traumatic events have a compounded influence on their capacity to cope. For me it’s very frustrating that women are not allowed the space to just focus on their healing, and they’re constantly having to be concerned about the outcome of their asylum claim.

What one thing would you change about your project, or one piece of work you would carry out if you could?

A lot of the women we work with would benefit from us being able to carry out outreach support, which is something that we are not currently doing.

If someone gave you £50,000 for your project tomorrow, what would you do with it?

I believe that group work would be a good investment, not just for its therapeutic purpose, but also for creating an opportunity for women to socialize. Besides the "regular" effects of trauma, the women who are accessing the Ruby Project are very often also struggling with the additional barriers of language and lack of social support. Building a new life in a new country requires building relationships, and group work can provide that safe space to foster connections.

What do you want your project to be doing a year from now?

I expect us to be more present in the community, to have established more links with organizations supporting BME women and expand the developmental aspect of the job. We want the Ruby Project to be able to reach out to a wider range of survivors from the growing and diverse migrant communities.

For more information about the Ruby project please email us.

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Holiday Opening Hours

As we have done in previous years, we will have a daytime only service over the holiday period. Our opening hours will be as follows:

Thursday 22nd December 2016 to Tuesday 3rd January 2017 (inclusive) our helpline will be open every day between 11.00 am and 2.00 pm on 08088 00 00 14. There will be no evening helpline during this period. Our helpline will be closed on 25th December 2016 and 26th December 2016 and also on 1st and 2nd January 2017. Our normal helpline services will resume on Wednesday 4th January 2017.


Our drop-in service will be open on 22nd December 2016 and 29th December 2016 between 10.30 am and 3.00 pm. There will be no evening drop in service on either of these dates. Normal drop-in services will resume on Wednesday 4th January 2017 when the service will be open 10.30 am – 3.00 pm and in the evening from 5.30 pm – 7.30 pm.

You can get further information on our website.

If you require an evening helpline service during this period, you can call the National Helpline on 08088 01 03 02 between 6.00 pm and midnight. This service will be open on 25th and 26th December 2016 and 1st January 2017.

You can get further information from the Rape Crisis Scotland website.

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