Two new services for victims and survivors of sexual violence will be launched in Nottinghamshire next week.
The Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) and Children’s Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (CHISVA) services will be in operation from July 1 and will deliver a range of practical and emotional support including advocacy to victims of crime who have been raped or sexually assaulted.
The services, which have been commissioned by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping with funding from the County and City Councils, were developed in response to research undertaken by the PCC in June 2017 which identified a gap in support services.
At that time, there were only two ISVAs covering the whole of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
The PCC has been working hard with partners to secure additional funding to expand the service and as a result the new resources will provide seven ISVAs and CHISVAs as well as a Survivor Support Service worker and up to 20 trained and accredited ISVA volunteers who will offer support with police video recorded interviews and attending appointments.
Mr Tipping said: “We want to provide the very best care and support to all victims of sexual violence from the earliest opportunity. For this reason these new services will allow - for the very first time - victims and survivors to access support before and after their police interview, if they would like it.
“Our experienced and professional support workers will offer children and adults personalised help to them recover from their traumatic experiences and improve their mental health for as long as they need it.
“We’ve placed great emphasis on the need to deliver practical as well as emotional help and our new services will incorporate all the necessary areas of recovery to enhance wellbeing.”
Nottinghamshire County Council has welcomed the initiatives. Councillor Philip Owen, Chairman of Children and Young People’s Committee, said: “These new services have been developed and designed having engaged and listened to victims and survivors and the County Council fully supports the practical and emotional support we are providing for them through this funding.”
Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health at Nottingham City Council, added: “I welcome the extension of this service across more areas of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. It’s a good example of partnership working between ourselves, the County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner.
“In the face of ever-increasing funding cuts from Central Government, we have been determined to safeguard – and improve – services where we feel there is a clear and important public need. Victims of sexual violence rightly deserve our complete support to help them recover from their ordeal, and the additional funding that we have provided will enable more people to benefit from this scheme.”
The adult ISVA service for individuals aged 18+ will be delivered by Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services while the CHISVA service for children and young people up to the age of 18 will be provided by Imara.
Both providers have a strong track record in delivering to support to victims and survivors of sexual violence.
Cath Wakeman OBE, director and trauma care practitioner at Imara, said: “Imara CIO is delighted to have been awarded the contract to provide the new CHISVA service in Nottinghamshire and the City of Nottingham. This is a vital service for children, young people and families who have experienced sexual abuse, providing them with help, advice and information right through the police investigation and the criminal justice process to support their recovery.
“Imara has been providing a service in Nottingham over the last seven years and we know from children, young people and families what a difference it makes having support through this difficult time in their lives.”
The adult ISVA service also incorporates the Survivor Support Service which is already up and running and provides practical support for adult victims of non-recent childhood abuse. This element of the service is funded separately by the PCC and City and County Councils.
The value of the contracts amounts to £555,594 to NSVSS and £243,962 to Imara. Both contracts will run until June 2020, with the possibility of two one year extensions
Novlet Holness, chief executive of Notts SVS Services, said: “Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services (Notts SVS Services) are delighted to have been awarded the contracts to provide ISVA and Survivor Support Services, for adult survivors in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
“For over 35 years, NSVSS has been providing emotional and practical support and counselling to survivors of sexual violence. Furthermore, we have delivered the ISVA Service for over 10 years. This new ISVA funding, which has been secured for two years, will enable us to further develop and increase the number of staff providing support for survivors of sexual violence who are accessing the Criminal Justice System.”
The ISVA service is funded by the PCC, County Council and the Home Office’s Violence Against Women and Girls Transformation Fund while the CHISVA service is funded exclusively by the PCC.
Media Enquiries: Lucy Boulton - 01283 821012
Posted on Thursday 28th June 2018