Safeline’s chief executive Lindsey Lavender said her charity is having to deal with more people than ever partly because council services are facing cutbacks.

“When this happens there is always a ripple effect across charities like ours and we are struggling to both raise funds and cope with increasing demand,” she said.

Ms Lavender has headed Safeline for the past three years and the workload has risen dramatically.

“We’ve seen the number of people helped by Safeline rise by almost 25 per cent in the past year,” she said.

“We know that people dealing with the aftermath of sexual abuse and rape desperately need our help but our funding has been reduced. It is harder than ever to fundraise and yet we are helping more people than ever before.”

Home Office statistics show that 85,000 women were raped in England and Wales last year, and 400,000 women were the victims of sexual abuse. These are just the reported cases.

It is thought that thousands more attacks go unreported and the victims often deal with the trauma alone.

In the past year, high profile cases like those surrounding Jimmy Savile have given people the confidence to come forward to seek help in coping with the after effects of this horrific abuse. Some also go on to report their sexual crimes to the police.

From its office in the centre of Warwick, Safeline helps people from all over Warwickshire to rebuild their lives.

Lydia Ward was one of the people helped by Safeline after she had been sexually abused as a child.

Now she campaigns for the charity: “The most important thing about Safeline and the work it does is that it’s independent and confidential. Many survivors like me wouldn’t think of going to the authorities to begin with.

“The thought of going to the police or social services seems just too big to deal with but I needed someone to talk to and Safeline was there to help me.

“Now I try to help others. It’s vital work which can mean the difference between dealing with the abuse and recreating your life or the terrible prospect of living always in the shadow of the abuse and never getting your own courage and confidence back again.”

Safeline provides a free phone helpline along with one-to-one counselling and psychological support.

“The charity also delivers a range of projects for schools and the community to highlight the signs of child sexual exploitation and how to seek preventative and early intervention help where needed.

Now the charity is launching a drive to raise £200,000 in its 20th anniversary year by establishing an SOS ‘Supporters of Safeline’ campaign.