With thanks to Suzanne Kelly. Photography by Alan Jamieson.
The Scottish Government reduced its funding to Rape and Abuse Support by 50%; this has gone largely unnoticed. Sadly, one in every four women statistically experience some form of sexual abuse (including violent attacks and rape) in their lifetime. Education and awareness are the answer, allowing the subject to remain taboo is the status quo – and the problem.
Stalking, human trafficking, spousal abuse are all problems we know exist in the North East of Scotland, yet there are few support services, which makes the work of RAS all the more important.
Aberdeen’s RAS premises and staff offer a safe, secure comfortable haven for people who have experienced sexual violence and rape. They have not met their entire financial shortfall yet, but Nexen Petroleum Ltd. has stepped in with a timely, generous donation.
Many large companies of course make financial contributions to charity. In the world of corporate giving, some charities are more ‘popular’ than others, and helping victims of rape sadly has historically not been a great draw of corporate money. Nexen is to be complimented on its generosity to this important local group.
Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd. made a donation of £6,000 to RAS (Rape and Abuse Support) who provide services for survivors of sexual violence in the North East.
Earlier this year RAS launched its Just Giving campaign in order to supplement a funding shortfall and it has been thrilled with the response from local businesses and the public.
Volunteer Co-ordinator and Outreach Support Worker Shannon Milne said:
“We have been so pleased by the level of support we have received. The most recent donation of £6,000 from Nexen recognises the importance of the service we provide.”
“At Nexen, giving back to the communities where we operate is deeply rooted in our values. Supporting RAS and other local volunteer organisations through engagement with employee volunteering and financial support is at the heart of social responsibility,” said Colin Taylor, Field Manager of Nexen’s Golden Eagle development.
“RAS is an essential part of our community and we are proud to support them.”
Nexen’s total contribution of £6,000 reflects a £5,000 corporate donation and a £1,000 grant through the company’s employee volunteer program to support the contributions of Jane McTavish, an employee of Nexen who volunteers her time as an RAS Director.
Mrs McTavish stated:
“Nexen takes their social corporate responsibility seriously and encourages their employees to volunteer in their communities. Rewards such as this are a great incentive and I am pleased that my employer, Nexen, recognises my commitment to RAS in this way.”
RAS is currently the only organisation in the North East offering support and advocacy to female survivors of sexual violence, whether recent or historical. They are also involved in prevention and outreach work which the donation from Nexen will help support.