A Dundee-based sexual abuse charity has launched a fundraising drive amid fears that workloads are spiralling out of control.
The Women’s Rape And Sexual Abuse Centre (WRASAC) provides free and confidential support to females in Dundee and Angus who have been raped, sexually abused or exploited.
The Tele revealed last week that kids as young as 10 are approaching the service to get help.
Sinead Daly, the charity’s manager, said the centre was in need of four additional full-time members of staff to cope with the increase in demand for assistance.
Ms Daly, 42, said: “We have launched a campaign asking people to donate a £20 Christmas gift, which is what it costs on average for us to provide one hour of support.
“That money covers things such as salaries and rent. Our waiting lists are getting longer and longer. While it’s good that people are accessing our services, there aren’t the resources there at present to cope with the demand.
“We have one advocacy worker who is supporting 64 women at the moment.
“In some of these cases, if the woman in question is going to the High Court in Edinburgh, or perhaps reporting a crime to police, the worker will be with the woman all day — that type of workload just isn’t sustainable.
“It’s something we would be very reluctant to do, but there may come a time when we have to ask ‘how much is too much?’ and we can’t take on new clients for six months. We don’t want to have to do this or ask that our work is say outsourced to other areas.
“Imagine if someone had been raped or sexually assaulted and then had to get on a bus somewhere in Fife — it could put them off accessing the service altogether. This could be catastrophic for some women.”
Ms Daly said the charity was exploring “all avenues” for funding. One worker is paid for by Comic Relief and the organisation also has an application in to Children In Need about funding another post.
Ms Daly added: “For a person who has been sexually abused, her world is getting smaller every day.
“Even an hour of counselling would make a difference and the public could give her that hour.
“If someone donates £20, their money will help a woman or young person this Christmas by paying for 60 minutes of crisis counselling.”
To donate, visit wrasac.org.uk/donate/.