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New support service for victims of sexual violence and abuse

A new service offering victims of sexual violence and abuse emotional support and coping strategies will soon be launched in Nottinghamshire - thanks to PCC funding.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping has launched a tendering process to appoint an experienced organisation to deliver a new Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) support service.

ISVAs are trained to deliver emotional and practical support to victims and survivors of rape, sexual abuse and sexual assault. They remain independent of the criminal justice system and provide help in a non-judgemental way on issues such as court proceedings, health services, emotional support and personal safety.

The new service, which is also being funded by the City and County Councils, will cost approximately £380,000 per year and is being developed in response to feedback from victims and survivors of abuse who identified a need for enhanced support services.

The PCC has consulted widely with victims and key stakeholders and believes a new ISVA service will be the most effective way of meeting their specialist needs. The new service will also bring together existing support into a single service for children and young people and adults, with the aim of reducing confusion for victims and survivors.

Mr Tipping said: “This is a positive step forward and will be vital to the ongoing recovering of victims and survivors of sexual violence and assault.

“The impact of these dreadful crimes can last a lifetime and it’s vital we offer the very best help and expertise to make that journey easier whether it’s support in the courtroom, emotionally or on practical matters such as housing, benefits or immigration.

“We know this is a step in the right direction for victims and survivors of sexual violence because they have told us they want and need these services. The chosen provider will not only support victims and survivors but also help to increase confidence in the whole system so that vulnerable people will not be afraid to seek out the practical help and advice they need in the future.”

Protecting victims and witnesses of crime is a top priority for the PCC and he has consistently pledged to improve the system so that these vulnerable people have a better chance of recovery.

At the core of his Victims’ Strategy is a commitment to empower victims and survivors to cope and recover from crime through the provision of effective local support services. He is also determined to prevent victimisation and ensure that vulnerable people are protected from further harm in the future.

The ISVA service will be different to counselling which is provided separately. The service will provide casework, information, advice, practical coping strategies and emotional support. It will also provide advocacy for victims and survivors to enable their access to services such as housing, immigration, welfare benefits, education and physical wellbeing. 

Organisations bidding for the contract will be required to provide in-depth insight and understanding into the needs of victims and survivors and the criminal justice system in relation to sexual violence and abuse.  They must also be independent of the criminal justice system and demonstrate strong partnership working and an understanding of local, regional and national support services for survivors.

The invitation to tender is divided into two lots: ISVA and support services for adults (£260K per year) and CHISVA support services for children and young people (£120k per year).

For more information visit:

https://uk.eu-supply.com/login.asp?B=BLUELIGHT

Reference: Quote/Tender 30036 - SOR1000705 - Sexual Violence Support Services ISVA & CISVA

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Posted on Wednesday 27th December 2017
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