I am a survivor of sexual violence who couldn’t access support. The future prime minister must not forget women like me

In March I launched a petition calling on the government to sustainably fund rape support services after I was turned away from multiple rape crisis centres when I really needed help. More than 157,000 people have already signed the petition. I have met ministers at No 10, given evidence in parliament and 46 MPs have signed an early day motion on the issue. But support services remain inaccessible. What is the future prime minister going to do about it?

The crisis centres I approached over a period of eight months had been forced to close their waiting lists due to exceptionally high demand and long-term underfunding. For years, rape counselling centres have been put in the impossible position of turning women like me away, because they know that those who are already on their waiting lists may have to wait as long as 14 months before seeing a specialist counsellor.

Related: ‘My rape case was dropped because I was too articulate’

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