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A petition has been set up calling for a 24-hour helpline for victims of rape and sexual assault – you can sign it here. If they get 200 signatures, the PM apparently has to respond – perhaps he has a good reason why this service hasn’t been set up yet!

This is the first campaign by At the Root, a new radical feminist group and blog. (H/T Mary)

Full text of the petition:

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Provide the funding to set up a National 24 Hour Helpline for Victims of Rape and Sexual Assault.

Far too many people in the UK do not have access to a Rape Crisis centre or a Sexual Assault Referral Centre. The facilities that do exist for victims of rape and sexual assault are seriously stretched, as they struggle with not enough funding and not enough staff.

In those areas where victims do have access to a Rape Crisis Centre or SARC, people often have difficulty getting through on the telephone, and once through, cannot always talk for as long as is needed due to other pressures on the over-worked staff.

It is time that the funding and expertise were put in place to set up a National 24 Hour Helpline for victims of rape and sexual assault. It is very much needed, in this country where rape and sexual assault are prevelant, yet the conviction rate for these crimes is at an all time low.

The government must take this issue seriously, and setting up a national 24 hour helpline would be a vital step in helping the thousands of victims who have no access to a Rape Crisis Centre or SARC.”