Survivors of serious sexual violence in Nottinghamshire are to benefit from increased support thanks to a one-off stream of funding, it can be revealed.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping is to invest a further £42,000 of funding into support services which help victims of rape and other types of sexual violence/harassment following an underspend in his victims’ services budget.
Nottingham Rape Crisis, a registered charity providing professional counselling to victims of rape and child abuse, is to receive up to £30,000 from the Commissioner to increase Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) support between late November and the end of March next year. This will mean the service can increase its two part-time posts to full-time, allowing the ISVAs to provide increased, face-to-face support to victims.
In addition, the Commissioner has allocated up to £5,000 to domestic abuse support charity Equation to print additional sexual violence information cards to raise awareness about available support services and how to access them. The charity is also to receive up to a further £5,000 to run training events to improve multi-agency understanding and response to sexual violence and £2,000 to run a seminar on stalking to raise the profile of the issue, identify gaps in service and provide recommendations for action.
Commenting on the announcement, Commissioner Tipping said: “Support services for victims of serious sexual violence and harassment are critical to helping survivors recover from their experiences and move on. Such services are unfortunately facing increased demand and the projects I’ve earmarked for additional funding will help to fill those gaps.”
The funding allocated to Equation will help to train workers across the County to respond effectively and appropriately when they are working with people affected by sexual violence.
Domestic and sexual violence support services in Nottinghamshire have some experience of supporting victims of stalking. However, the Deputy PCC, Chris Cutland, who leads on support for victims, would like to ensure that providers and police officers have up-to-date training to ensure victims of stalking are getting the very best support. As a result, the training seminar has been commissioned to update everyone on the best way to support victims of stalking, as well identify any gaps in existing provision to inform the Commissioner’s future commissioning plans.
Kerry Sullivan of Equation said: “This funding will enable Equation to work in partnership with other organisations to provide specialist training that will strengthen inter-agency practice in responding to sexual violence and abuse. It will also assist workers and communities to signpost those affected by sexual violence to appropriate support services.”
A spokesperson for Rape Crisis said that the money would help survivors of sexual violence to receive support and enable them to cope and recover from their experience, adding: “It’s really important that people who have been subjected to this most traumatic of experiences are able to access support and advice when making decisions about reporting the offence to the police, understand how the criminal justice process works and the importance of forensic evidence. The PCC’s decision to award this funding will enable us to provide more of this very specialist support service to survivors of sexual violence, when they need it most.”
Commissioner Tipping has recently gone out to tender for a core victims’ support service which will provide support to all victims of crime, anti-social behaviour, hate crime incidents and identity theft.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Tuesday 2nd December 2014