Rape support centres in Essex and Suffolk get cash boost

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New support centres for victims of rape and sexual violence in Suffolk and Essex have received government money to expand their services.

The Ministry of Justice has announced it will give £107,000 to Rape Crisis Southend and £80,000 to Suffolk Rape Crisis in Ipswich over the next year.

They are among five UK centres being given money to fund start-up costs.

Cath Elliott of Suffolk Rape Crisis said the money would be "an enormous help" to the charity.

The £107,000 given to the recently-opened Southend centre will be used to employ four new staff and develop its counselling services.

'Ambitious aims'

It will also go towards creating an advocacy and support service and provide therapeutic services for children and young people.

It will continue to receive guaranteed funding until 2015.

The £80,000 given to the Ipswich centre, which recently moved into permanent premises, will also be used to recruit more staff and provide face-to-face counselling.

Ms Elliott, volunteer co-ordinator at Suffolk Rape Crisis, said: "Instead of having to worry about how we're going to fund the service, we will now be able to focus on providing much-needed support.

"We have big plans for our future and we are now much closer to being able to achieve some of these ambitious aims."

The money is part of a £600,000 fund announced by the Justice Minister Crispin Blunt.

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