Interview with a Paint It Purple Beneficiary: Coventry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC)

The goal of all Paint It Purple cupcake bake sales and fundraising parties is to raise money and awareness of agencies working to end VAW in their local communties. In 2012, we have four beneficiaries, each of whom we interviewed to learn more about the work they do. Today’s interview features Dianne Whitfield, Chief Executive of the Coventry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre.


Coventry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC) has been established for over 30 years, providing free services to women and girls, men and boys, aged 5 and above, in Coventry, who are victims or survivors of sexual violence and abuse either now or in the past. We provide  a helpline, counselling service, therapy groups for adults and children,  an outreach service for black and ethnic minority groups as well as young people, support and advocacy for those who choose to go through the criminal justice system.

Wristbands sold by CRASAC.

Tell us about CRASAC (Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre) and the work that you do to stop Violence Against Women.Coventry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC) has been established for 30 years, providing free services to around 4,500 women and girls, men and boys, aged 5 and above, in Coventry, who are victims or survivors of sexual violence and abuse either now or in the past. We provide:  a helpline; counselling service; therapy groups for adults and children;  an outreach service for black and ethnic minority and LGBTQ groups  and young people; and support and advocacy for those who choose to go through the criminal justice system. We also address the effects of sexual violence in a safe environment.

The lack of consideration of VAWG as a priority, the blaming of victims and survivors by societal myths and stereotypes and the fact that Rape Crisis Centres are seen as biased, hysterical feminists which allows us not to be taken seriously.

Tell us about some of your successful efforts and campaigns over the years and how they work to prevent/intervene/stop violence against women in your community area.

  • Starting a children’s service for 5-10 year olds to replace a service stopped by our local NSPCC.
  • Lobbying to stop cuts in our services.
  • Raising the issue of our local SARC not being victim centred in terms of police referrals.

Why did CRASAC decide to take part in “Paint It Purple” this year?

To raise awareness of our services in a way that is fun and engaging.

By speaking out on behalf of our client group to dispel the myths and stereotypes that stop people coming forward to access the support they deserve. The help we need includes sustained funding and more followers on Twitter @CRASAC.

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CRASAC is set to benefit from the Paint It Purple bake sale held by Two Cousins Bakery who will sell Paint It Purple Cupcakes for 2 weeks from 8th October. A box of six cupcakes will cost £12.00 and they will donate £6.00 to the Paint It Purple campaign to be shared by CRASAC and The Pixel Project. The annual “Paint It Purple” campaign raises awareness about Violence Against Women (VAW) by getting a global audience to “paint” the internet purple during the campaign using social media. The campaign also raises funds for The Pixel Project, our partners and participating VAW nonprofits worldwide through cupcake bake sales and “Paint It Purple” parties. For more information, visit http://paintitpurple.thepixelproject.net

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