THE woman who posted a ‘selfie’ picture of her battered face online has raised enough money to keep a rape crisis helpline running for more than six months.
Jeanne Marie Ryan, injured when she was attacked at an Oxford nightclub almost two weeks ago, was staggered last night after donations reached more than £16,000.
The 29-year-old had copied the trend for women to post pictures of themselves on social media sites without make-up, using the hashtag term #nomakeup selfie, in a bid to raise awareness about violence towards women.
She had hoped to raise £100 for the Oxford Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre (OSARCC) but her efforts have secured enough money to fund its helpline service for six months or pay for 25 women to participate in its weekly support groups for six months.
Miss Ryan, above, showing off her fundraising total said: “It has been amazing.
“It has raised so much awareness but also the amount of money.”
The tally is also the equivalent of almost a fifith of OSARCC’s annual budget and the charity said it is the largest donation from one person it has ever received, beating the previous high of £1,000.
The Oxford University student had been groped by a man who then punched her up to seven times after she spurned his advances.
She added: “It has been amazing. It’s raised so much awareness but also the amount of money.
“Women, and men, are coming together to share their stories.
“I am so glad people have taken the time to read about what happened.
“But I don’t want it to end here, it would be good to see if we can work with nightclubs about how they can help if women are in trouble.
“Hopefully we can also bring OSARCC and the Oxford University Students’ Union to work on awareness.”
A spokeswoman for OSARCC said: “As a small local charity, every penny really does count and we are always grateful for any donations, no matter what their size.
“We’d like to give huge thanks both to Jeanne Marie for sharing her story and drawing attention to what many women across the UK experience when they’re just trying to have a good night out – and to everyone who has already donated so generously.
“Over 2,000 people have donated to her campaign so far. This level of support is incredible, and clearly shows both the shared outrage felt by the public at what happened to Jeanne Marie and the understanding of the need for services like Rape Crisis Centres.
“Securing funding to keep our services running is always a challenge. The donations will provide a real boost to our work and enable us to maintain our existing services – supporting over 350 women and girls who have experienced any form of sexual violence at any time in their lives via our confidential helpline, email support and support groups – and develop new ones that fill current gaps in service provision in Oxfordshire.”
OUSU vice-president for women Sarah Pine said: “I am thrilled that this money is going to such a fantastic yet underfunded service.”
Police arrested a man over the March 21 incident at Plush nightclub and he is currently on police bail until May 11.
If you’d like to donate online to Jeanne Marie’s fund visit justgiving.com/jeanne-marie
Oxford Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre offers four types of support:
Helpline support on 01865 726295 or 0800 783 6294, Sunday 6-8.30pm, Monday 6.30-9pm, Thursday 6.30-9pm, Friday 11.30am-2pm
Email support at firstname.lastname@example.org is answered within seven days
Support groups – 12 weekly sessions for up to eight women (normally four cycles per year). Contact: email@example.com or 01865 725311
External training and outreach – various sessions and locations, including work in schools, universities and multi-agency training