Thousands of women have come forward to report sexual abuse and rape in the wake of the Me Too movement, according to charity bosses.

Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre manager Isabelle Kerr says the movement has been a force for change and empowerment of women, who are now more confident than ever at coming forward to report sexual abuse.

In the last two years, the centre has fielded almost 30,000 calls, texts and emails from survivors of rape, domestic abuse and other forms of sexual trauma in and around Glasgow.

The number of survivors receiving long-term support form centre staff has also risen, from 1,297 in 2017/18 to 1,319 this year.

And the numbers are continuing to rise, according to management, who are now launching a more open service for survivors to get in touch.

Kerr said: “Survivors often tell us that because issues are in the media so much, against the backdrop of Me Too and Time’s Up and so on, they do feel stronger to come forward and more confident about getting in touch.

“We feel really grateful that survivors continue to put their trust in our organisation, because that’s a big ask.

“We’re seeing the numbers going up all the time, every year.

“Going away back 40 years ago we had a phone line and an answering machine, but now we’re not like that.

“Calling it a helpline now is a bit of a misnomer. There are so many other ways to access the organisation and we were concerned that just calling it a helpline was a bit misleading, which is why we’ve launched Connect Live. If technology moves and changes, we have been increasing the access to the service.”

Kerr said the knowledge that survivors of abuse and rape can speak to a live human being, not an automated service or recording, was of a huge benefit to the women they have helped so far.

Connect Live, the new project launched by Kerr and her staff, will be open every day from 11am -2pm, on Monday – Thursday evenings from 5.30pm-7.30pm.

It will allow anyone who gets in touch via phone, email, text, FaceTime, Skype or instant messaging to speak to one of the centre staff in person, in real time, for help.

Kerr added: “Phoning up and not being able to get us, or texting and not being able to get us can be frustrating and off-putting. We wanted to make it clear that if someone contacts us they will get somebody on the end of the line. They will get someone responding. It helps reduce some of that anxiety that survivors may have when there’s nobody there to speak to.”

Last year, the centre faces a funding crisis when a £35,000 grant from Children In Need was not renewed.

The centre was facing the possibility of closing its waiting lists. However, the Scottish Government provided emergency funding to keep it open.

Lauren Mayberry, lead singer of band CHVRCHES and ambassador for Glasgow Rape Crisis, said services to help survivors of rape should not be classed as ‘optional’ and said it was important to ensure funding was maintained.

She said: “I don’t view things like rape4 crisis as optional services. It’s not negotiable whether that is available to society, and it’s not just for women either.

“The centre is very open and clear that it is for anyone who has been affected by sexual or domestic violence. To me it’s essential and necessary as part of society to support people. The idea that funding would be cut to something like this is distressing and shows what kind of society we live in.”

Jade Freeman, 24, received help from Rape Crisis after she was raped at a party.

Then 18, Jade said she didn't know where to turn to for help and felt as if she was to blame for what happened to her.

The Glasgow woman had been referred to another support service but had a bad experience and was reluctant to go anywhere else for help.

Her concerns were put at ease, however, when she walked through the centre doors.

She said: "They helped me massively. The place was so homely, and everyone so friendly.

"When I walked in there I was in a really dark place. I didn't know what was going on and couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

"I got the support that I needed, and I just can't thank them enough. How do you thank people who saved your life?"

Jade was raped by a friend's brother, and initially struggled to come to terms with what had happened to her.

She said: "I just thought nobody would believe me, and I also thought it was my fault. I blamed myself.

"When I went to Rape Crisis, they changed all of that. They helped me realise that this wasn't my fault and that it didn't have to define me or my life. They have been absolutely amazing."

Jade is now studying to become a counsellor, and hopes her experiences will enable her to help other women going through the same thing.

She plans to spend some time working at the centre with survivors as part of her training.