Funding to increase support available for victims of sexual crime secured

15 July 2020

The Police and Crime Commissioner has been successful in a bid to the Ministry of Justice for much needed additional funding that will provide extra Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA) to support victims of sexual crime in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton.

Michael Lane, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Whether recent or historical abuse, it is important that victims of rape, sexual assault and abuse feel listened to and receive practical, non-judgmental and compassionate support. I am delighted that the additional funding will add much needed capacity to the ISVA service.”

From April to December 2019, 721 people were referred to receive support from the Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton ISVA service, and the Isle of Wight ISVA receives on average 160 adult referrals per annum.

A total of £247,765 has been secured by the Commissioner for 2020-22 to provide additional capacity particularly in supporting people with multiple complex needs. The funding will pay for one FTE ISVA with the Hampton Trust on the IOW who provide the service on the Isle of Wight and two FTE for Yellow Door who are contracted to provide ISVA support across Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton.

The Police and Crime Commissioner commissions sexual crime victim support services in partnership with the top tier councils (Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight). ISVAs specialise in supporting people who have suffered any unwanted sexual experience, regardless of when the incident happened, or characteristics such as gender or sexuality. ISVAs provide support and information through the criminal justice process:

  •  Information on the criminal justice process – providing support before, during and after any criminal and civil court proceedings.
  • Giving information on health services and attending appointments if desired.
  • Helping the victim to think about their safety and what can be done to improve it.
  • Listening and providing emotional support.

Cllr Lee Hunt, Community Safety Portfolio of Services, Portsmouth City Council: “This is good news. We work with all our partners so that victims of sexual violence and their families know they will be helped from the moment they come forward through all the evidence gathering right through and beyond with one-to-one support and these three new posts will better enable that important work.”

Cllr Dave Shields, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Southampton City Council, said: “There’s never been a greater need for agencies to come together to provide much-needed, specialist support for victims and perpetrators of abuse living in our area. I very much welcome this funding, which will enable us to continue our efforts to address sexual violence effectively and sensitively.”

Tara Doel from Yellow Door, said: “Yellow Door are very pleased to be awarded much needed additional funding towards our Hampshire ISVA service. This funding will allow us to recruit additional ISVAs to work alongside our existing dedicated specialist team”.

Chantal Hughes, Chief Executive of The Hampton Trust: said: The funding to allow The Hampton Trust to expand ISVA provision on the Isle of Wight is greatly welcomed. We will now be able to appoint an additional full time ISVA allowing opportunity to ensure all clients have a choice of worker on occasions where there is a conflict of interest due to the unique island status.”

Ends
Note to Editors:

Applying for and allocating funding to deliver essential services that support policing is a core part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s role.

This funding in is addition to the emergency funding announced last week

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