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#MeToo fund set up by British celebrities donate £1m to victims of abuse

Emma Watson, Keira Knightley and Emma Thompson were among those who donated

Jack Shepherd
Thursday 11 October 2018 10:34 BST

The fund set up by British celebrities as a result of the Time's Up and #MeToo movements has awarded more than £1 million to women's groups across the UK.

Supported by actors such as Emma Watson, Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jodie Whittaker, The Justice and Equality Fund has awarded £1,027,699 to seven women's organisations in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Watson, who made a £1m donation to the fund earlier this year, thanked everyone who had donated and said: "This year is just the beginning."

She added: "Much more needs to be raised so please give what you can, financial support is an instrumental act of solidarity with under-resourced organisations and campaign groups."

The organisations are working to provide advice and support to women who have experienced sexual harassment and abuse

It comes on the heels of the £24,000 the fund gave to 12 women's organisations who are working to change and reframe the conversation around sexual harassment.

Grants include £194,168 to Rights Of Women, for a free, confidential helpline led by female lawyers offering specialist legal advice to women experiencing sexual harassment.

Welsh Women's Aid has been awarded £88,484 to provide training that will increase the knowledge and skill of women's support services across Wales. £133,402 was given to the London Black Women's Project, which will focus on providing specialist advice to black and minority ethnic and migrant women.

Grants also include £200,000 to Women's Aid Federation in Northern Ireland to establish a pilot rape crisis service. The award bridges a critical gap as there has not been a rape crisis service in Northern Ireland for the last 12 years following funding cuts.

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Knightley said she was "so excited" to see the results of the journey to set up the fund.

"To be able to fund the first rape crisis service provision in Northern Ireland for 12 years feels like a huge step forward," the star said.

"I hope we can continue to raise funds to support more of the frontline organisations doing such critical work with women and girls across the UK."

The fund is being managed by Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls.

Its executive director Samantha Rennie said: "For far too long, women facing sexual harassment and abuse have faced a postcode lottery. Specialist support services are patchy and stretched, leaving many women with nowhere to turn for help.

"These grants will help ensure that no-one is left unsupported when they have been harassed.

"We're delighted that so many individuals and Time's Up have reached out in solidarity to make this happen. But we need to do more - to get these services on a stable footing, and tackle the culture that means abusers can act with impunity."

Additional reporting by agencies.

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