East London rape crisis service launched in Redbridge

LONDON’S deputy mayor for policing has opened a new Ilford-based rape crisis service for East London.

Kit Malthouse arrived at Loxford Polyclinic, Loxford Lane, Ilford, this morning to launch the service, which will offer face to face counselling for victims of sexual violence, as well as a telephone helpline.

It will be run by The Nia Project, a charity dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment for women and children and will cover the boroughs of Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. Mr Malthouse said: “We felt that something needed to be done to improve and encourage some of the measures that are done in the aftermath of rape.

“The story of rape crisis services in the past isn’t a happy one.

“There used to be more centres in London but they were allowed to wither and die and go down to one.

“I am delighted to be here today and to give my backing to this new service.”

Karen Ingala Smith, chief executive of the Nia Project, painted a picture of the support which will be available to men and women through the Mayor of London funded service.

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She said: “Twenty three per cent of women experience sexual assault as an adult.

“Forty per cent of victims tells nobody about it.

“That’s a very lonely place to be.

“I’m really pleased to be able to lead this service and provide vital support.”

Both Redbridge and Hackney will offer face to face counselling hubs and an outreach worker will work across the boroughs.

The helpline - 0808 802 9999 - will be open every day from noon to 2.30pm and 7pm to 9.30pm.