Coventry rape and sexual abuse charity CRASAC wins prestigious national award - The Coventry Observer

9th Aug, 2022

Coventry rape and sexual abuse charity CRASAC wins prestigious national award

Correspondent 28th Feb, 2017

A CHARITY providing specialist support for survivors of rape and sexual abuse in Coventry has won a prestigious national award.

Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC) has beaten more than 400 organisations from all over the UK to be one of the 10 winners of the 2017 GSK IMPACT Awards.

The national award recognises excellence in charities improving health and wellbeing in their communities.

The charity will receive £30,000 as part of its prize, as well as expert support and development from national health charity The King’s Fund.

CRASAC will receive its prize at a ceremony held at the Science Museum in London on May 18, along with nine other GSK IMPACT Award winners.

An estimated 44,000 adults in Coventry have been a victim of sexual violence at some point in their lives and more than 10,000 children in Coventry are thought to have been abused.

Victims and survivors can experience significant physical and mental health problems, with up to 80 per cent of rape victims developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

CRASAC works to improve the psychological health and wellbeing of anyone affected by sexual violence. It runs a helpline, and offers counselling and crisis intervention services for victims. It also provides information and support for parents, partners, and professionals.

Last year the charity helped more than 8,500 women, men and children.

With many victims of sexual violence finding it difficult to pursue a prosecution, CRASAC’s Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service supports victims ‘from report to court’.

The charity says this has led to a much lower proportion of people deciding to withdraw their complaint after reporting it to the police.

Nationally, 35 per cent of complainants decide to withdraw from this process, while with users of the ISVA service it is only around 5 per cent.

CRASAC has also worked to address the low take-up of its services among Coventry’s relatively large ethnic minority population, working to build trust by accessing community groups, raising awareness at events and training interpreters.

It has seen a significant increase in women from South Asian backgrounds accessing its support. The charity published a report – The price of honour – on its approach that has been highlighted nationally as a model of good practice.

Lisa Weaks, Head of Third Sector at The King’s Fund, said: ‘CRASAC provides crucial support to those affected by rape and sexual abuse in Coventry.

“CRASAC has demonstrated dedication and passion in the work it does. It’s a worthy winner of a GSK IMPACT Award.’

Dianne Whitfield, Chief Executive of Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, said: ‘At CRASAC we know that there is no typical survivor of sexual violence – each will have their own particular needs and this is why we treat everyone who comes to us for support as an individual.

‘It’s a great honour to win a GSK IMPACT Award. This is testament to the hard work of all our staff and volunteers. We also hope it helps to highlight the impact that sexual violence has on people and raises awareness of the specialist support they need.’

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