The head of Glasgow's lifeline service for rape victims has called for more funding after demand has soared by almost 300 per cent.

Isabell Kerr, centre manager for Rape Crisis in Glasgow, penned a letter to Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveety this week.

In the last year, the vital service has helped thousands of people and plays a huge part in the recovery of rape survivors following their attacks.

In 2015/16, they spent 3541 hours in 3139 appointments, held more than 200 group sessions and handled 779 cases.

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They have also had one-off contact with almost 700 survivors of rape, and say in the last three years demand for their some parts of their service has increased by almost 300 per cent.

Demand for support and advocacy related calls, texts and emails have increased by 286 per cent, while overall demand for the service has risen by 58 per cent.

They assist with everything from counselling and referrals to other services, to taking survivors through the court process if they choose to seek a conviction against their attackers.

Isabelle told the Evening Times: "For the past 13 years our grant from the city council has been frozen but the number of survivors and family members seeking support from the Rape Crisis Centre has grown.

"Every year we are told that we have to work within existing budgets.

"We actively raise money to fund our services with many supporters giving up their time and energy for the service.

"But for the past three years we’ve operated at a deficit in order to meet the growing demand on our service.

"There are numerous studies that show the disproportionate number of sexual abuse survivors in addiction and mental health services, so as well as making economic sense to adequately fund the rape crisis centre it makes moral sense to support survivors in Glasgow. The value of our service is well known and accepted across the city so why doesn’t the funding follow?"

According to their records, around 65 per cent of those they help are from the city, yet only 12 per cent of their funding comes from Glasgow City Council.

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In the letter, Ms Kerr wrote: " We have acquired a body of expertise over 40 years and we continue to build upon it.

"The training all of our workers must undertake is not only intensive but is also now accredited.

"We are no ‘tea and sympathy outfit.

"We are a body of highly skilled, trained experts in the field of sexual violence and abuse and we should be recognised as such."

The organisation is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and have held numerous fundraising events to generate cash.

A spokesman from Glasgow City said: “Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre has an very important role in supporting those affected by sexual violence against women.

“Despite a huge reduction in the council’s overall budget in recent years, we have continued to fund the centre at previous levels.

“The centre is able to draw upon other sources of funding and is one of the many providers supported by the council that address violence against women.

“The council remains fully committed to tackling gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation.

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“In 2015 Glasgow was named a White Ribbon City in recognition of the work it does to tackle violence against women.

“Our work includes the End Prostitution Now campaign, Sixteen Days of Action, the Routes Out of Prostitution project, the Trafficking Alliance Raising Awareness (TARA) project and ASSIST, the support project linked to Glasgow’s domestic abuse court.”