Nearly 10,000 calls to a helpline for rape victims went unanswered last year due to a lack of resources.

A report by Rape Crisis Scotland claims 1150 people seeking help attempted suicide after a sexual attack.

On a typical day, more than 1000 survivors of sexual violence are waiting for specialist support, the charity said.

Demand was so high last year that rape crisis centres struggled to cope, with some forced to close their waiting lists.

Funding for more resources is urgently required and Rape Crisis Scotland has started a crowdfunding campaign.

DCI Fil Capaldi heads up Scotland's National Rape taskforce

The fact that thousands of callers could not get through to a helpline because it was busy, or closed, is a “cause for real concern”, the charity said.

Sandy Brindley of Rape Crisis

The report covers the period April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019. It says the number of victims reporting incidents to police dropped by 1.46 per cent to just over 50 per cent.

Rape Crisis Scotland said 14 volunteers joined its team after attending a training programme in 2018 but added more resources are needed so its helpline can respond to the volume of calls.

The charity’s chief executive Sandy Brindley said: “The level of unmet need, represented by a significant number of
callers unable to get through, continues to be a cause for real concern.

“It demonstrates the crucial need for a human and responsive presence for every survivor who has taken the often difficult decision to get in touch.”

The charity’s crowdfunding appeal has so far raised £12,000.

Detective Superintendent Fil Capaldi, head of Police Scotland’s National Rape Taskforce, said: “Rape and sexual offences remain under-reported crimes.

“We also recognise that some victims will speak to support services but may not be ready to speak to the police.”

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