Commissioner welcomes funding boost for rape and domestic abuse support
November 26th, 2020
ACTING Police and Crime Commissioner, Ray Bisby is today, (26th November 2020) announcing that services for sexual and domestic abuse victims in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are to receive a funding boost of more than £190,000.
The funding is made up of £97,138 which will be allocated to local services facing greater demand and Cambridgeshire’s additional allocation from the Rape Support Fund which totals £93,601. This will be awarded to the county’s sexual violence support service the Cambridge and Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership.
All 11 services are reporting an increased demand for emotional and practical support from victims. The additional funds will allow them to retain trained staff and continue to respond to victims in a way that meets their needs.
“While the Coronavirus health emergency continues to impact on all of us, for victims of domestic or sexual abuse, lockdown restrictions can increase anxiety. Positively our providers are reporting that many more victims are accepting help and are keen to spend time talking to staff who are offering both emotional and practical support”, explains Mr Bisby.
“Today’s funding announcement recognises the vital work undertaken by service providers to ensure sexual and domestic abuse victims can continue to access support during this difficult time.”
Cambridgeshire Deaf Association is one of the local service providers to receive a small cash injection.
Ruth Godden, Cambridgeshire Deaf Association, added:
“This grant has allowed us to purchase practical resources which will enable staff to continue to provide support to domestic abuse victims, such as face masks for British Sign Language users.
“We understand the real potential for the current situation with Covid-19 to cause anxiety and concern for many, not least those processing trauma and living with the impacts of domestic abuse.
“We want to reassure survivors of domestic abuse that we are still here, and you are not alone.”
The Acting Police and Crime Commissioner along with partners has already secured over £600,000 of additional funding for services supporting domestic and sexual abuse victims since spring. Including three Independent Sexual Violence Advocates (ISVAs) for the county. ISVAs offer important practical and emotional support to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted recently or in the past regardless of whether the crime has been reported to the police.
“I would like to thank partners for their support in securing over £790,000 for rape and domestic abuse victim services this year. Altogether this funding is being used to improve access to services and provide additional capacity within charities to respond to demand for help as this pandemic continues.
“I would urge anyone who is a victim of a sexual assault, whatever the circumstances it happened in, to seek help. Your safety and wellbeing is our main priority.”
Any victims wishing to access support can call the Freephone advice number on 0800 781 6818 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is also online advice on the Victims Services website which provides details of other local and national organisations providing specialist support: https://www.cambsvictimservices.co.uk/.
Local services to receive additional funding are:
- Cambridge & Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership
- The Meadows Children and Family Wing
- One Voice 4 Travellers
- Peterborough Women’s Aid
- Family Action
- Embrace Child Victims of Crime
- Cambridge Women’s Aid
- Cambridgeshire Deaf Association