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Rape charity gets abusive calls after Tommy Robinson post

Rape Crisis poster about services for women from ethnic minorities. Image copyright Rape Crisis UK
Image caption A post on Tommy Robinson's Facebook page was critical of a support service aimed at ethnic minorities

A sexual abuse charity received "hundreds of abusive calls" after ex-English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson criticised it on Facebook.

The Facebook post, referring to a Rape Crisis poster promoting a helpline for ethnic minority victims, said: "I guess it's ok to rape white women then?"

The charity said its switchboard, based in High Wycombe, was inundated with "harassing" phone calls.

The BBC has contacted Tommy Robinson for comment.

A Rape Crisis spokeswoman said: "The centre received hundreds of abusive and harassing calls to support lines which are there for victims of very traumatic experiences.

"The calls undoubtedly had a disruptive and shocking impact on a service that's there to help people."

She added: "When I spoke to the centre on Friday lunchtime they had received more than 200 calls, emails and messages that were directly related to the content of that social media post.

"They were not from people purporting to be victims and survivors of sexual violence, they were from people criticising or abusing the service or its staff."

The charity said some of the calls were of a "racist" nature and police had been informed. Thames Valley Police has been approached for comment.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Tommy Robinson's Facebook page has more than 1.1 million followers

It added: "We recognise that some victims can face additional barriers such as language and previous experience of racism, so it's appropriate to provide specialist services.

"This in no way discriminates against white women."

The Facebook post was published on Thursday afternoon and attracted more than 2,000 comments in its first 24 hours.

In January, YouTube suspended adverts on Mr Robinson's account, claiming he had broken the site's advertising rules. He was banned from Twitter in March 2018.

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