Why are there no rape crisis centres in Northern Ireland? | Dawn Foster

For the last decade, victims in Belfast have had nowhere to turn. But a group of charities is hoping to change that

When a 19-year-old student was injured in 2016, she walked up and down a road in Belfast desperately trying to find the Rape Crisis centre she had looked up online. But she never found it: the centre, on Donegall Street, had closed a decade previously due to lack of funding. Eventually the student and her friend managed to find a sexual health clinic, where a nurse recorded her injuries and counselling was provided.

Related: After rape trials, is the court of public opinion now trumping the law? | Sarah Ditum

We cannot have a situation in Northern Ireland where victims of rape are left to their own devices

Related: Online support grows for women after rugby stars’ rape acquittal

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