The Boris Keep Your Promise campaign did a great job in forcing London’s current mayor to get moderately close to keeping his word on the subject of funding rape crisis centres. The dreadful situation that saw only one centre (in Croydon!) serving the whole of London has been greatly improved, with the provision of three extra centres that broadly cover the capital.
BUT, there’s no guarantee this is going to continue. Funding is only guaranteed until 2012 – the next mayoral election. It’s yet another case of “a campaigner’s work is never done”.
I know that the campaign will be gearing up again soon to push all of the mayoral candidates to guarantee continuation of the funding. But there’s no need to wait. Any time I come across a London Assembly member or mayoral candidate, I’ll be making sure this is high on the agenda.
But we also need to stop this merry-go-round. Campaigning like this to maintain essential women’s services takes far too much time and energy. We need to ensure that central services like this are regarded as a core part of society’s provision – standard funding that is automatically included in annual budgets, not something that has to be fought for.