A REFERRAL centre near Worcester which helps rape and sexual assault victims saw almost 250 people in its first year.

The Glade, which opened in Bransford in November 2012, has released the figures covering its first 12 months in operation.

It welcomed 239 people through its doors during that time with bosses hoping even more people will benefit this year.

“The centre is starting to evolve nicely,” said Emma Durmaz, clinical manager at the Glade, which also has a base in Telford, Shropshire. 

“Hopefully, by this time next year, our self-referrals will be higher.

“I think the public generally doesn’t talk about issues like this but figures show that on average a person in this country is raped every 10 minutes.”

The free service is open to men, women and children and offers counselling, referrals from the police for ongoing support, and a forensic medical examination. 

Figures released by The Glade show 224 (94 per cent) of those attending its Bransford base were women.

Often these victims knew their attacker with the most common relationship being either an ‘acquaintance’ or family member.

The majority of the Glade clients, meanwhile, were assaulted either in their own home or the home of the attacker.

“We’ve had a lot of self-referrals recently,” said Mrs Durmaz.

“A lot of self-referrals have been abused in the past. We can offer them counselling."

She said that, on average across the country, about 80 per cent of women who are raped or sexually assaulted don’t report the crime.

“For men that figure is about 90 per cent. Generally speaking, men don’t report,” she said. 

“This year, we want to encourage anyone to report. We have had a few successful prosecutions over the past year but it can take time to get to court.

“That can be devastating for a client to be told that, having come forward.”

The Glade can be reached on its 24-hour number 0808 178 2058.