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Extra funding secured to support victims and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse

13 July 2022

Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, is pleased to announce that victims and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse across Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight will have access to enhanced levels of support following a successful bid to the Ministry of Justice for additional resources.

The bid put together by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has secured additional annual funding of £311,454 for 2023/24 and 2024/25, with a pro-rata amount of £246,256 for this financial year (2022/23).

The funding will pay for six Independent Domestic Abuse Advocates (IDVAs) and one Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) who ensure domestic and sexual abuse victims, survivors and their children get the best possible support and that there are safety plans in place.

The money has been awarded to organisations to recruit specialist IDVAs who will offer support to high risk victims of domestic abuse on the Isle of Wight, Southampton, Portsmouth and the wider Hampshire area.

Studies have shown that when victims at high risk of abuse engage with an IDVA, there are clear and measurable improvements in safety including a reduction in the escalation and severity of abuse and a reduction in, or even an ending to, repeat incidents of abuse.

The additional posts will join those already working in Hampshire and Portsmouth at Stop Domestic Abuse, on the Isle of Wight at You Trust and in Southampton at Southampton City Council. The post in Portsmouth is to specifically support children and young people who, under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, are now recognised as victims in their own right.

The funding also includes provision for an ISVA in Southampton who will offer specialist support to young victims of rape and serious sexual assault, provided by Yellow Door.

This is building on and enabling the Government to reach its commitment for 1000 IDVA/ISVAs by 2024/25.

Donna Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight said: “It is vitally important for victims of domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault to have access to independent, compassionate support.

“It is recognised that these devastating crimes do not just affect adults, which is why I am so pleased to announce the addition of advocate posts specifically supporting young people.

“These services ensure victims and survivors are listened to no matter their circumstances or whether they choose to pursue a criminal justice route or not.

“This funding will add much needed capacity to the ISVA and IDVA services and will continue to make a real difference to the lives of victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence, delivered by experts in the field.”

Claire Lambon, Chief Executive Officer, Stop Domestic Abuse, said: “Stop Domestic Abuse is delighted to secure additional funding to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse at high risk of serious injury or death.

“This funding will provide 3 Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) who will work to address the safety of victims at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members to secure their safety and the safety of their children.

“They will support to up to 240 victims and survivors a year by providing emotional and practical advice, guidance and support to help them and their children to become and remain safe. This funding will save lives.”

Nicci King, Chief Executive Officer at Yellow Door, said: “We are delighted to receive the additional funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner for a Children & Young Persons’ ISVA, the funding will enable us to increase the vital support we offer to children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse or violence.”

Jayne Hardy, Area Manager for the You Trust, said: “The YOU Trust were thrilled to be awarded funds from the Ministry of Justice to help address domestic violence and abuse, for adults and children living on the Isle of Wight.

“Our PARAGON team on the island offer a range of emotional and practical support for all victims and work closely with other agencies. We know that these additional posts will continue to support us to meet the needs of individuals experiencing abuse to live a life without fear.”