Nearly £1m awarded to domestic abuse and sexual violence survivors in Thames Valley

Extra specialist care will be available for abuse survivors the Police Commissioner says.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 10:44 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 10:46 am

A £980,000 support fund has been organised to help victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence across the Thames Valley.

The policing area which covers Milton Keynes, Bucks, Bedfordshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire has been allocated these funds by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The money came via the Ministry of Justice and will be allocated to voluntary initiatives, charities and public bodies, the Commissioner says.

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A breakdown from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, showed that £422,072 would be awarded to six organisations for the recruitment and training of Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) and Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) over a two-year period.

A further £558,919 has been awarded as uplift funding to 22 organisations for one year; funding areas such as staff costs (including ISVA/IDVA provision and support workers), training, group work and counselling support.

The commissioner said: "We have some exceptional organisations supporting victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in the Thames Valley and I am delighted to be able to award this funding which will make a huge difference to them and ultimately the victims and survivors they work with.

"Increasing specialist service provision will give victims better access to much needed support to help them recover from the harm they’ve experienced. Some of the posts funded are dedicated to supporting particular groups who for a range of reasons can be less likely to access support such as men, disabled victims and victims within LGBTQ+ and BAMER communities. A focus of the ISVA/IDVA fund to increase tailored provision for these groups will, I hope, result in services being better resourced to meet victims’ specific needs."

The Commissioner has offered a breakdown of some of the organisations which will receive money and what the funding has been allocated for.

Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre and MK-Act has been allocated funding to develop IDVA provision to work with elderly and disabled clients.

GBT+ organisation Support U is getting a grant to provide an ISVA/IDVA to work with LGBT+ victims across the Thames Valley.

Sunrise Multicultural Project will get funding to recruit an IDVA to work with BAMER communities.

Reducing the Risk is getting a grant to develop training and engagement to encourage further BAMER clients to access support.

Aylesbury Vale and Milton Keynes Sexual Assault and Abuse Support Service and Trust House Reading is getting money to develop ISVA and IDVA provision to support male victims with Mankind also funded to deliver support groups for male victims of domestic abuse.

SAFE! is receiving a grant to increase both ISVA and IDVA support for children aged 5 -18 who have experienced sexual or domestic abuse.

The funding is in addition to the 2021/22 core Victims Services Grant of over £2.8m awarded to the PCC to support victims of crime across the Thames Valley.