#STANDTOGETHER WITH SOLACE - HELPING VICTIMS OF RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT



As you may already know, charity is at the very heart of The Wedding A-List. We believe that everyone has the right to a life free from fear and abuse, and we are working to help create a safer future for everyone. We give money from every single sale of our four wedding planning packages to Solace, our wonderful charity partners who help survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.


Today I want to tell you a bit more about the work that Solace do, and in particular their current campaign, #StandTogether With Naomi, which aims to raise £50,000 to ensure Solace can continue to support victims of rape and sexual assault. If you would like to donate to the campaign, you can find all the details here.



Solace are an amazing charity, who work tirelessly to help women and girls affected by rape and domestic and sexual abuse. They've supported women and children for 40 years, helping them to build safe, strong lives free from abuse and violence, and their lifesaving services help over 11,000 women and girls every year.


The #MeToo movement, and recent developments like the Bill Cosby verdict, have been huge strides forward for women. Victims of sexual harassment and assault are finally being listened to and, crucially, believed. But this really is only the beginning, and the tip of a vast iceberg. Sexual abuse is a widespread - and growing - problem, and while small victories should rightly be celebrated, we cannot rest on our laurels. There is still much to be done.


In London alone, there was a staggering 19.4% INCREASE in rape offences in the last year, and a 9.4% increase in sexual assaults. Nearly 8,000 rapes and over 11,000 sexual assaults were reported to the police. And remember, that's just reported attacks - we know that somewhere between 75-95% of victims of sexual assault and harassment never report incidents to the police. To put these numbers into some sort of context - 11 women are raped or sexually assaulted EVERY week in EVERY London borough. There are 32 London boroughs.


In London alone, there was a staggering 19.4% INCREASE in rape offences in the last year

These numbers are horrific, but numbers only tell us part of the story. They don't tell us about the trauma, devastation and psychological pain that each and every victim of rape and sexual assault experiences. Victims of rape and sexual assault may seem invisible, but they are the women you work with, sit on the bus with, meet at school or University - they may be your friend, your sister, mother or daughter. Without help, many women feel unable to move forward. They can suffer enduring mental and physical health problems, many end up self-harming and some feel like ending it all. Access to rape crisis services, such as the service Solace provides, is genuinely lifesaving.


Solace offer a counselling service for victims of rape and sexual assault. Their highly trained staff provide emotional support and help women to make their own choices, whether or not they decide to report to the police. Whatever choices a women makes, Solace are there to support them and provide the vital counselling they need on their journey to recovery.


11 women are raped or sexually assaulted EVERY week in EVERY London borough

But while rates of rape and sexual assault continue to rise, the funding Solace need to provide these services is dwindling. They have had to close waiting lists as the average waiting time for counselling is up to 12 months in many London boroughs. Imagine finding the courage to pick up the phone and ask for help, only to be told you will have to wait a full year to speak to anyone.

While rates of rape and sexual assault continue to rise, funding is dwindling.

Solace refuse to stand back and see a lack of funding prevent them from helping the thousands of women who so desperately need their help. That's why they have launched their most recent campaign, #StandTogether with Naomi. The campaign aims to raise £50,000 - money which will fund the rape counselling service and help ensure that Solace don't need to turn any more women away.


"Naomi represents the survivors who use our life-saving services every day. Naomi was raped by a colleague after an away day company party. Like so many women she didn’t tell anyone at the time because everyone had been drinking; she told herself no one would believe her, that it “wasn’t that bad”. The man that raped her was in a more senior role so she feared the repercussions to her career. It soon became clear to Naomi that she wasn’t coping and found herself unable to focus, feeling anxious and fearful and was drinking more and more to blot out what had happened. She decided not to report the assault to the police but knew she needed to talk to someone and get help. She was able to access counselling and confront the emotional pain she was experiencing, as well as understand how she responded to the trauma and the silence that surrounded the attack. Naomi found Solace and got the help she needed to heal. But many women don’t." - SOLACE

We stand with Solace, and are committed to helping them provide these crucial services. If you want to donate to the #StandTogether With Naomi campaign then you can do so via their JustGiving page. Every donation will make a genuine difference to the lives of women and girls affected by rape and sexual assault.


If you want to find out more about Solace and the work they do, head to their website.

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