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14 March 2012, 07:51
Sex attack victims can seek help at five new support centres, including one in the North East.
Justice minister Crispin Blunt announced the locations of the centres, which will be backed by £600,000 of taxpayers' cash.
Speaking at justice questions in the Commons, he said:
"I can formally announce the next five new rape support centres to be developed by the Ministry of Justice and the voluntary sector.
"Over the next 12 months the Ministry of Justice will provide nearly £600,000 in funding to develop new centres in mid Wales, the North East, Leeds, Southend and Suffolk.''
Mr Blunt said later that rape and sexual violence are traumatising crimes which ruin lives and they want to ensure victims of these terrible crimes get the specialist support they need to recover.
This is part of the Government's long-term commitment to victims of rape and sexual violence.
A spokeswoman for Rape Crisis England and Wales said:
"We welcome the Government's announcement to fund the development and establishment of a further five new Rape Crisis Centres.
"It is vital women and girls who experience sexual violence are able to access services when and where they need them.
"For many women in these areas that support just hasn't been available or at best, they've had to travel long distances, particularly in the rural areas of Northumberland and mid Wales, to get the help they need."