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Opening of rape crisis centre in Moray brings region specialist service

The official opening of Moray Rape Crisis Centre at Winchester House in Elgin.
The official opening of Moray Rape Crisis Centre at Winchester House in Elgin.

A new centre to help victims of sexual violence has opened its doors in Moray.

The region was the last part of Scotland without a specialised support service which meant people were previously forced to travel to Aberdeen or Inverness for face-to-face help.

But yesterday, Rape Crisis Scotland unveiled its first base in Elgin with a local support worker to develop the service.

Christina McKelvie, the Scottish Government’s Older People and Equalities minister, officially opened Rape Crisis Moray on a tour of the region.

The King Street premises will offer support to people who have been raped or sexually abused, and provide information to victims and their families.

It will also help with the criminal justice process for incidents reported to the police.

Sandie Barton, director of operations at Rape Crisis Scotland, said: “We believe that access to specialist services following a rape or experience of abuse is a right, not a privilege.

“Seeking support following rape is not always an easy thing to do and we believe that the least we should be able to offer people in this position is access to support when they need it – not months down the line.”

Funding has been secured to employ a sexual violence prevention worker, who will begin working in schools from April next year.

The Scottish Government has recently pledged £1.5million of support to fund similar centres across the country.

The Elgin service will be open to males or females of more than 11 years old who have experienced abuse at any point in their lives.

Bethea Robertson, support and development worker for Moray Rape Crisis, explained the centre would respect the courage and strength of those who needed help and chose to speak out.


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Mrs McKelvie said: “Anyone who experiences sexual violence should be able to access the support they need, wherever they live.”

Detective Sergeant Alan Milton, a member of the police’s public protection unit, said: “Sexual crime has a long-term devastating affect and we are committed to supporting those who have suffered.

“The launch of this service in Elgin, which will make it easier for people living in the Moray area to access face-to-face support, is extremely welcome.”

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