Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre given grant

An Oxford-based support service for women who have been the victims of sexual violence is to restart this month following a lottery grant.

Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre was given £10,000, which will allow it to run for the next year.

The group offers women the opportunity to meet others who have had similar experiences and receive support.

A member of the initial pilot last year said the service had helped to turn her life around.

'More confident'

The woman, who did not want to give her name, said: "Although it was not easy, over time it was possible to face the things that have been locked away for 30 years with the gentle but strong support from the facilitators.

"I am now more confident and my friends and colleagues have all said that I am a completely different person to the one I was 18 months ago."

The service says there were almost 500 sexual offences, including 111 rapes, reported to police in Oxfordshire in 2011-12.

Manager Natalie Brook said: "Specialist services for female survivors of sexual violence are rare and underfunded in Oxfordshire, despite the number of people accessing our services increasing year on year, so we are delighted to announce a continuation of the service for the next year."

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