Monthly drop-in sessions for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence are being launched in East Renfrewshire tomorrow (June 7).

Rape Crisis Glasgow and Clyde (GCRC) will be providing specialist support to women and girls aged 13 plus who have been raped, sexually assaulted or sexually abused.

Individuals can attend sessions whether the abuse happened recently or at any time in the past.

There is no need for an appointment, and women can come along to a one-off session or as part of ongoing support.

Councillor Katie Pragnell, convener for health and social care at East Renfrewshire Council, said: “We are delighted that GCRC will be launching their new free and confidential drop-in service here in East Renfrewshire.

“This is an important addition to the specialist support available for women and girls who have experienced rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse.

“Whether the sexual violence happened to you recently or at any time in your past, the service will listen without judgement and provide the help women and girls need.”

At the sessions, a support worker will listen and assist individuals and signpost people to other organisations and services where necessary.

Drop-ins will take place within a private room at two safe locations - at Barrhead Health and Care Centre from 9.30am to 12.30pm and at Eastwood Health and Care Centre 1.30pm to 4.30pm.

Sessions take place on the first Wednesday of each month.

Claudia Macdonald, director at GCRC, said: “It is so important that women and girls in the Barrhead and surrounding area have locally-based options for support.

“We know it can be difficult to make that first step to come to us for help.

"With this drop-in service, we are hoping to take some of that difficulty away from any woman or girl who has experienced rape or sexual violence.”

Women and girls should ask for Gabriella at reception at both venues and staff will make sure they are discreetly linked up with support staff.

Women can also call the free confidential GCRC Live Helpline on freephone on 08088 00 00 14. This is available Monday to Friday from 11am to 2pm.

The Rape Crisis national helpline provides support for all genders aged 13 plus from 5pm to midnight on 08088 01 03 02 or by text on 07537 410 027.