Thursday, 20 August 2009

TONIGHT - celebrate 6 months of the bridge, 6 months since reclaim the night and the new rape crisis centre



Date: Thursday 20th August
Time: 6pm
Location: One25, The Grosvenor Centre, 138a Grosvenor Road, St Pauls, BS2 8YA

Local charity One25 will be celebrating on Thursday 20th August as they are presented with donations raised by local supporters. The funds were raised at Bristol Reclaim the Night six months ago and will go towards One25’s work supporting local women who are trapped in a negative cycle of street sex-work and addiction.

The presentation takes place as the Bristol Rape Crisis helpline opens and The Bridge, Bristol’s specialist Sexual Assault Referral Centre, marks its first six months of operation. Both services provide support for victims of sexual violence in the city, and the last six months have already seen an increase in the conviction of rapists and in the numbers of victims coming forward to seek help in Bristol.

The presentation date is also exactly six months since men and women in Bristol took to the streets in an evening of Bristol Reclaim the Night actions to protest against rape and sexual violence. Protesters wanted to bear witness to the fear of violence which makes people feel unsafe after dark in Bristol.

Josie Hill from One25 explains: “In the last year One25 has seen 134 violent attacks against women involved in street-based sex work, and the level of brutality involved is horrific. Rape conviction rates for this group are extremely low nationally, with only 1% of rapes against sex-workers in the UK ending in a conviction. It takes courage to come forward after such a traumatic event, and it’s important that the victims of violence have the support they need.

“We’ve seen an unprecedented number of women finding the courage to report such attacks in the last six months, and this has led to convictions. In the last two months alone one attacker was sentenced to a nine year prison term, and four attackers have been arrested, with two already charged and remanded in prison. This is a fantastic result for the women involved, for One25 and for all the local agencies that have supported them.

“We feel that the improvements we have seen in the last six months are worth celebrating, but also hope they will raise awareness of the problem of violence in our city.”

Bristol City Council’s Safer Bristol Partnership has also made significant steps to support those who have experienced sexual violence. Rick Palmer, Service Director for Safer Bristol says:

“Avon and Somerset had one of the lowest conviction rates for rape in the country, but we can now be proud of the significant progress in tackling sex crime and getting justice for victims. Thanks to the great collaborative work between One25 and organisations such as the Bridge and the local police, Bristol now has the second highest reporting and conviction rates for violence against sex-workers in the country.”

Bristol’s support services for the victims of sexual violence include Woman’s Aid, Rape Crisis, One25 and The Bridge. Supporters are welcome to join in the presentation event, and it is still possible to add to the donation by visiting One25 Just Giving page.

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For further information please contact Josie Hill at One25 on 0117 909 8836 or email

Journalists are requested to avoid naming and/or using photographs of the victims of sex crime, sex-work and the violence associated with street-based sex work. Identifying such women can prove extremely damaging to their long-term rehabilitation. It will also discourage others from reporting violent crime which puts the wider community at risk. If in doubt, please call us first to discuss. Your support on this matter is greatly appreciated, both by us and the women we help.

Further information regarding partners can be found at:

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