The Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (CSLS) is delighted to be partnering with the national charity Rape Crisis England & Wales (RCEW) to produce 30 oral history recordings, which will be lodged with National Life Stories at the British Library, as a permanent and open access national archive. The project will trace and celebrate 50 years of the Rape Crisis movement in England and Wales and, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, is made possible by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project at CSLS is led by Professor Linda Mulcahy and Dr Ellie Whittingdale. Ellie, whose PhD looked at English sexual violence support services, has previously worked for RCEW and as a Rape Crisis helpline volunteer. The 30 oral history interviews aim to capture the stories and lives of activists involved in the Rape Crisis movement. They will be deposited within the British Library Sound Archive and preserved in perpetuity for future generations. In addition to producing a sound archive, the project team will offer training opportunities for staff and volunteers within the Rape Crisis network to enable them to collate their own centre’s local heritage. The insights generated by the project will also be shared via a variety of mediums, including a project report and multi-media outputs. As well as this, various academic publications, such as conference papers and journal articles, will be produced at CSLS.

The project team, hosted at CSLS and RCEW, will work closely with the UK’s leading oral history fieldwork charity, National Life Stories at the British Library. This will give much-needed recognition to the rich heritage of the English and Welsh Rape Crisis movement. 

Sara Kilner, Rape Crisis England & Wales, commented:

“It’s so important for us to recognise and acknowledge the voices and stories that have shaped Rape Crisis. This project affirms the cultural significance of the Rape Crisis movement and will honour the women who have provided vital support to so many victims and survivors.”

Mary Stewart, Director of National Life Stories at the British Library, commented:

“This is an important partnership for the British Library which will add thirty in-depth interviews to the oral history collection, providing unparalleled insights into the heritage of the Rape Crisis centre movement across England & Wales. Researchers now and in the future will be able to understand the vital contribution of Rape Crisis centres and their context within the Women's Liberation Movement.”

If you have any questions relating to the project, please email:

A photograph of all of the project's funder and partners

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