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FAQs about the Rape Crisis Centre

Q.      What services can I get from the Rape Crisis Centre?

A.     The rape crisis centre has a whole range of services.  You can contact us by telephone on 0141 552 3200 for telephone support, you can make an appointment to see a support worker face to face, you can write to us or email or you can drop in to our Centre any Wednesday between 10.30 am and 3.00 pm. We also run survivor support groups. We cover all of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and East & West Dunbartonshire. We also work in partnership with service providers in Inverclyde.

We are a support service run by women, for women and girls aged 13 and over, who have been raped, sexually assaulted or sexually abused at any time in their lives. We can also provide support for a woman's partner and family members (this part of our service is open to men).

The R.O.S.E.Y. Project (Rape Crisis Offering Support and Education to Young people) offers awareness raising workshops for boys and girls around sexual violence and sexual bullying, within schools and youth groups. For more information, please contact us or visit the website at www.roseyproject.co.uk

Q.      Is the Rape Crisis Centre only for women who have just recently been raped?

A.     No.  Many women think, because of our name, that the Rape Crisis Centre is just for women who have been raped recently. This is not the case. We see women survivors of rape, sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, stalking & harassment, ritual abuse, women who have been abused while involved in prostitution or making pornography and women who have been raped by their partner or a family member.  We can offer support to women who have experienced (or are currently experiencing) any kind of sexual violence or sexual abuse at any time in their lives.

If you are a woman who has been raped within the past seven days, you can access the Archway Glasgow (www.archwayglasgow.com).  Here you can receive forensic testing, STI testing and follow up, support, counselling or referral to other agencies.  You can access the service directly by calling 0141 211 8175. It's open 24 hours a day.

Q.      Do I need to pay for the support I get from Rape Crisis?

A.     No.  All rape crisis services are free of charge.  We are funded by a range of funding bodies including local authorities, Scottish Government and grant making trusts.  This means that women do not need to pay for our service.

Q.   I don't have much money and worry that I couldn't afford to come into Glasgow every week for my support sessions. Can I get some help with travel costs?

A.   If you are coming to get support from Rape Crisis or attending one of our support groups, you may be able to get help with your travel costs.  We can refund the cost of public transport to and from the Rape Crisis Centre for each visit and we may also be able to help with travel costs for anyone who is accompanying you.  Although we can’t pay for expensive taxi journeys, we can refund a portion of your taxi fare (the equivalent amount to public transport).  If you let us know in advance that you will be claiming travel costs, we can make sure that your support worker has them ready for you when you arrive.  You can discuss this with the worker you see at your initial ‘duty appointment’.

Q.      I’ve been to other services and they didn’t do me any good.  How do I know Rape Crisis will be any different?

A.     We will commit to discussing our service with you so that you have as much information as possible to help you decide whether you think Rape Crisis is the best place for you to get your support and we will continue to consult with you throughout the process to ensure that we are offering you the best possible service.  Even if you decide against support from us at this time, you can come back to the Centre at any time if you change your mind.

Q.      I phoned Rape Crisis a couple of years ago but didn’t turn up for my appointment.  I’d feel embarrassed going back.

A.     Women often tell us how difficult it is to come to the Centre and we know that when the appointment time comes, many women cannot face it.   We also know that it’s difficult to contact us again and ask for another appointment, but please don’t hesitate to call us.  We will be very happy to take telephone calls from you or to see you.  If you don’t feel you can phone, you can email us at support@rapecrisiscentre-glasgow.co.uk or drop in to the Centre at 30 Bell Street any Wednesday between 10.30 am and 3.00 pm.

Q.      Are the staff all counsellors, therapists, psychologists and the like?

A.     Rape Crisis support workers are all highly trained, monitored and supervised.  However, they are not counsellors, therapists, nor psychologists.  We don’t operate any kind of medical model at the Rape Crisis Centre but instead offer a person centred support service, guided at all times by the women we are working with.

Q.    How long will I have to wait before starting my face to face support?

A.    We offer an initial ‘duty appointment’ as a first step to accessing our service and you will be given this appointment within two weeks.  This will give you the chance to look around the Centre, to speak to a support worker and to get an idea of what the service is all about.  If you decide against accessing support when you have your duty appointment, you can contact us again at any time in the future.

If you decide to go ahead with face to face support, you’ll go onto a waiting list after your ‘duty appointment’.  A support worker will contact you within a few weeks to arrange your first session and she will then support you through about 10 sessions, with a review session halfway through. While you are on the waiting list, you can still use the telephone helpline or the Wednesday drop-in service if you need to speak to someone while you are waiting for your sessions to begin

Q.      I find it really difficult to speak to someone face to face.  How can I get help?

A.      Women often tell us how uncomfortable they feel speaking about the sexual violence they have experienced.  If you feel you are unable to speak to someone face to face you can access support by telephone, by letter or by email if that is better for you. 

At some point you may feel that you want to see a support worker face to face, but don’t feel that you have to.  Some women get all their support by telephone because they feel more comfortable with that.

Q.     Is using the helpline different from getting telephone support?

A.     The helpline opening hours are listed in the ‘Contact Rape Crisis’ page. Women can use the helpline for support at these times and if the line is engaged, or the helpline is closed, you have the option to leave a message for a helpline worker to call you back. It’s helpful for us to know whether it’s ok to leave a message when we call you back or if you would prefer us not to say who we are if someone else answers your phone. Our phone number appears as ‘withheld’ so you don’t have to worry about it appearing on your outgoing calls or incoming caller display.

Pre-arranged telephone support is different from using the helpline as you will be allocated a designated support worker in the same way as with face to face support. After an initial telephone ‘duty appointment’, you will be added to a waiting list. Then someone will contact you to arrange your support. You and your worker then decide on suitable times for her to call you for a series of around 10 telephone support sessions.

Q.      I am a deaf woman/I have a hearing impairment. Are there any additional options available to make it easier for me to access your service?

A.      Yes. We have a textphone service available on 0141 552 4244 and we welcome callers who are using Typetalk. If you need a signer in order to access face to face support, let us know in advance and we can arrange that for you. Or, if you prefer, you can come with your own signer.

Q.      I am a wheelchair user/I have a mobility impairment. How accessible is the Rape Crisis Centre for me?

A.      We are on the 5th floor, but there is a lift which is large enough to accommodate a standard sized wheelchair. It is an old fashioned style, with gates which require to be manually opened and closed – so if you need help with the lift, please let us know and we can meet you downstairs at the front door if you wish. We also have an accessible toilet in the centre.

Q.      I have a visual impairment. Can I access your written materials in a larger font?

A.      Yes. Our website www.rapecrisiscentre-glasgow.co.uk can be viewed in a larger font and we can arrange larger font printouts of our information booklets on request.

Q.      I am unable to leave my house. Can a support worker come to my home?

A.      If you are unable to leave your home to get to an appointment it may be possible to arrange to support you in your home, but as this requires two workers, it may take slightly longer to arrange than our usual appointments.

Q.      My partner/friend/relative/key worker is coming with me and wants to sit in on the session.

A.      It is possible for someone to sit in with you on your support sessions but many women tell us that they find it easier to speak with a support worker on their own.  We have a comfortable waiting area where they can sit and have some tea or a cold drink.  You can always phone the helpline to ask more about this before you make your first appointment. Also, as our Centre is run by women for women, it is helpful for us to know in advance if the person coming with you is a man.

Q.     I think I’d prefer the support of a group.  Can you help?

A.     Yes. Rape Crisis runs survivor support groups.  Please call us for information about when the next group will be starting.  In the meantime, you can access telephone, letter, email or face to face support if you wish.

Q.     My friend was raped but her English is limited.  Can she get help from Rape Crisis?

A.     First contact with us has to be in English but if your friend doesn’t speak English very well you can call our helpline and make arrangements for her to come to the centre for a duty appointment.  We will need to know what language she feels most comfortable speaking so that we can arrange an interpreter for her appointment.  We also have booklets in a number of languages and we could post that to your friend or to another address if that would be safer. These translations are also available on our website www.rapecrisiscentre-glasgow.co.uk

Q.     I don’t feel comfortable travelling into the city centre. Can I access support in my local area instead?

A.      We have outreach services in Renfrewshire, East and West Dunbartonshire and some areas of Glasgow. Contact us to find out if we offer a service in your local area.  We could also provide you with letter, email or telephone support if this would be easier for you – our phone number would not appear on your phone bills and if you want us to call you, our number is also withheld for incoming calls.

Q.     My partner has made me do a lot of sexual things that make me feel really bad about myself.  Is this right?

A.     If you are made in any way to perform sex acts that you do not want, this is sexual violence.  Many people think that sexual violence must involve physical force or the woman must be hurt or injured in some way.  But women can be coerced into sexual acts that make them feel uncomfortable because they know that their partner will be angry, will be in a bad mood, will withhold money, or will verbally or physically abuse them.

Being forced to perform sex acts that are abhorrent to her is not the only way an abusive partner can make a woman feel bad.  Some of the other things women have told us about include being expected to watch pornography or dress in a certain way to please their partner, and being expected to mimic the acts their partner sees in pornographic magazines or films.

Sex between partners should be a consensual, loving and pleasurable event that makes both partners happy.  If one partner is only participating because withholding the sex will result in an adverse reaction of any kind from her partner, then this is wrong.

Q.     I am still living with my abuser and I don’t know if I’m ready to leave yet.  Can I still call you?

A.     We have supported many women who are still living with, or are in contact with the person or people who continue to abuse them.  We know from the experiences of many women we have supported that leaving an abuser is a long process and we will support women through that process when the time is right for her.     

Q.      My partner/friend/relative is having a difficult time dealing with this.  Is there an organisation he/she can get help from?

A.     Your partner can also access support here at the Rape Crisis Centre.  We understand that this can also be a very difficult time for partners, friends or family members and we can offer support plus some written materials.  This part of our service is open to men and we often support non abusing partners, fathers, mothers, sisters etc. 

Q.      I want to report to the police but I think it was all too long ago …

A.     It is possible to report cases of historical abuse/rape to the police but there may be some additional difficulties due to the nature of Scots Law and the need for corroborating evidence – which is usually forensic.  However, if you feel you would like to discuss this with a police officer, you can get support from Rape Crisis to do this.  You may also be able to see the police at the Rape Crisis Centre, but this would have to be arranged and agreed in advance. 

Q.  I’m waiting for the case to come to court and I’m terrified of going alone.  Can you help me?

A.  A support worker can advise you when the case will be likely to go to court and what will happen at this time.  She can also arrange and accompany you to a pre-trial visit to the High Court which will  be facilitated by the Witness Service.  This will allow you to see the court surroundings and ask any questions you may have in relation to the legal proceedings.

A support worker can sit with you for support when you are interviewed by the defence.  This can take place at your home, at the Rape Crisis Centre or at a police station, whichever you feel most comfortable with.  It may be possible for your support worker to be with you in court when you are giving your evidence but this has to be agreed with the court prior to the trial.

Q.     My sister was raped and I think she needs to talk about it and get it all out.  Can you phone her?

A.     We never contact women who have not given their permission, or requested that we call them, even if this is done through a third party.  You may feel that your sister should be talking about her experiences but the time may not be right for her.  We can send you information that you can show to your sister and let her know that there is a service here that she can access if she wants to speak about her experiences.  And we can send you information on how you can support her while ensuring that you also have some support.  In the meantime you could let your sister know that you are there for her and give her space to speak in her own time.

© Rape Crisis Centre PO Box 53 Glasgow G1 1WE