Durham students take on football challenge to support sexual violence survivors

The target is to raise £4,000 for County Durham's Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Students from Durham University have completed a 24-hour football game to support survivors of sexual violence.

Around 150 people, who are mostly from Collingwood College, took part and finished the challenge at midday today (12 June).

The clock nearing the 24-hour mark at around midday. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The target is to raise £4,000 for County Durham's Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (RSACC), which has worked with the college Football Association to raise awareness among its members.

Dan Aichen, 4th year student and member of CCAFC's executive says:

"Sexual violence is endemic throughout our society, and sadly colleges and universities are no exception. We believe by raising awareness of this amongst our peers, and by challenging the toxic masculine behaviour that supports a rape culture we will help to reduce sexual violence.

RSACC does fantastic work supporting survivors through expert counselling and other services, but we know that they have an ever increasing waiting list, with some survivors waiting up to 9 months before they can receive the support and care they need. Therefore, as well as raising awareness, it's vital that we raise as much money as we can to help survivors get support for their trauma and to hopefully lead healthier lives."

Isabel Owens, Deputy CEO, RSACC commented:

"It's been fantastic working with CCAFC and we have been overwhelmed by their determination - and even in the face of a global pandemic - to raise vital funds for us. Every year is tough for a charity like ours, but this year has been particularly bad for survivors. Lockdowns have further impacted their trauma, and for some limited their ability to escape abusive homes.  Every pound raised for us, means a survivor is closer to moving off our waiting lists and into our counselling rooms."