RSACC’s COVID-19 delayed 30th birthday celebrations are off their marks with the Darlington 10k

  • SG Petch’s Darlington 10k begins a month-long social media celebration of Darlington and Co. Durham’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre’s 30th birthday

One room, a telephone and 3 volunteers. These were the inauspicious beginnings of RSACC back in 1990 compared to where it is now – 3 sites, 25 staff and 12 volunteers. And as well as continuing with its Helpline, RSACC – a well respected specialist charity – now offers services to survivors of sexual violence – ranging from therapeutic counselling to an Independent Sexual Violence Advisory service to support them through the criminal justice system.

RSACC plans to celebrate their achievements – as well as undertake some much needed fundraising – were put on hold in 2020, like so many other birthdays and anniversaries.  However, rather than ignore their 30 year milestone, RSACC is engaging in a month-long celebration, which starts on sunday with the SG Petch Darlington 10k and runners racing in aid of the charity – including Debbie Barker the charity’s outgoing CEO.

Isabel Owens

Isabel Owen’s RSACC’s Deputy CEO, commented:

“We know life is still very tough for many people. But we have been supported through the last 30 years by some amazing people and organisations and I’m keen that we celebrate them and us. I am also very proud as to what we’ve achieved for survivors over the last 30 years – in many challenging environments.

As feminism is at our core, we also wanted to highlight some of the advances made by women in the last thirty years as well as mark August 8th –  the 160th birthday when the Offence against the Person Act came into force bringing sexual violence crimes together for the first time. 

In both the last 160 years, and with sharper focus the last 30 years, women have made some great strides forward, but we still face institutional and societal challenges that impact the lives of girls and women in County Durham every day. We want to use this milestone to do what we can to give these challenges greater public scrutiny to improve how girls and women in our county are treated and valued. More will be revealed at the end of the campaign.”

As part of this celebration, RSACC is pulling together its own history and is looking to find anyone who worked, volunteered or was supported by them to get in touch with any memories they’d like to share. Contact

RSACC’s Helpline is available Monday and Tuesday 10am to 12.30pm and Tuesday and Thursday 6.30pm to 9pm. The number to call is 0300 222 5730.