A LAW firm has boosted a counselling service which supports people who have suffered rape or domestic abuse.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ charitable foundation has donated £2,500 to West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC).

The funds, raised by staff challenges last year, will help the charity continue supporting those who have been sexually assaulted or abused, as well as working with schools to tackle sexual exploitation or harassment via social media.

WMRSASC supports children and adults free of charge, and also counsels parents whose children have been abused, working in partnership with other agencies.

John Parman, the charity’s development lead, said: “People like to believe that this doesn’t happen where they live, or among people they know; that just isn’t true.

“We are not an organisation you think of until you really need us; we are the only free provider of this counselling and support, and there is great demand for what we offer.

“We have 44 counsellors at the moment and each will be working with between 25 and 30 people at a time across Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

“We go into schools because we want to help young people to deal with issues like sexting, grooming, demands for photos.

“Our SELFIE project has been delivered at 23 schools and settings in Hereford, Worcester and Shropshire, supporting more than 2,000 children and young people.

“Counselling is not a magic wand we can wave, but we help people to deal with the issues they’re left with; some people come to us 60 or 70 years after they were assaulted, still struggling.”

The funds will help to pay counsellors, Mat Waddington, a trustee of the charitable foundation and head of HCR’s Safe from Harm team, said

“It is vital that we help those who have been attacked or abused in this way, so that this violence doesn’t blight the rest of their lives.

“I am glad that we could help in this way so that WMRSASC is able to continue its excellent work across the region.”