A new Rape Support Centre is opening in central Preston.
Trust House Lancashire will be the first of its kind in the area to provide practical and emotional support to men, women and children, who have been raped or sexually abused either recently or in the past.
The centre, the location of which cannot be revealed, will receive £360,000 in Ministry of Justice funding through to 2016 .
Sue James of The Survivor’s Trust, which is running the centre, said: “There hasn’t been a specialised support centre in this area, so we put together a proposal and it was accepted by the Ministry of Justice.
“I don’t think that the problem in Preston is any worse than anywhere else in the country - unfortunately it’s too high everywhere.”
The centre will offer individual or group sessions.in a confidential environment.
Fay Maxted, chief executive of the The Survivor’s Trust said: “It’s about empowering people so they are strong enough to protect themselves and others. It will be interesting to see what difference this centre will make.”
Penny Clough, whose daughter Jane was murdered by a former partner on bail for rape and sexual assault, said: “If this had been here 10 years ago, maybe Jane would be alive today. It’s so important that people know what is acceptable in a relationship.”
She added: “My worry is what happens when the funding runs out? This is so important, but it’s not enough.”