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Funding from Police Commissioner helps young victims of crime recover

POLICE and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite has given £2,000 to national charity Embrace CVOC (Child Victims of Crime) to provide practical support for young victims of crime.

The grant, which is added to by the charity from public donations, enables young victims to buy practical items to help them cope and recover such as fitting side gates to make them feel safe in their homes, shopping vouchers and gifts.

Recent examples of support for victims include funding for a 17 year old single mum to buy a pram and baby clothes and a £50 Tesco voucher for a young girl who was attacked by her step-father. The girl’s mum, who became a single parent when the abuse was disclosed, told the Charity: “you have no idea how much this means to us! The voucher is the difference between us having a Christmas dinner or a pasta bake.”

The funding is part of a number of services put in place by the Commissioner to help young victims of crime cope and recover from their experiences.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite said:

“I am extremely pleased that once again we have been able to bring in additional resources to support the most vulnerable residents of our county. Domestic abuse and sexual violence devastates the lives of victims, their friends and families.

“These grants may be small, but the impact they have can be huge. Practical help enables these young victims of crime to concentrate all their efforts on recovering from their experiences and moving on to a more positive future. Young victims are made to feel safer in their homes and get the support they need on their journey of recovery.”

Anne Campbell, Chief Executive of Embrace (CVOC) said: “Crime often leaves families struggling financially.  Our practical support works flexibly to buy the things that can make a big difference, such as smart clothes for an interview, a prom dress or a pram for the baby. Usually, the help is supplied via vouchers to exchange for what is needed.

We’re delighted to enhance the services available for young victims of crime – Embrace also offers cheer up support and access to counselling for those who have been traumatised by their experience of crime.”

Police and Crime Commissioners are responsible for commissioning local support services for victims of crime. The Ministry of Justice provides the Commissioner with a grant each year to enable services which best meet the needs of local victims of crime to be funded. Young victims also have support from a specialist Victim and Witness Care Co-ordinator and two Independent Sexual Violence Advocates.

The money follows on the back of confirmation of a successful partnership bid for funding worth £400,000 to help prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG). The Commissioner’s office led the bid with Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council along with statutory and non-statutory partners for the government funding from a £17 million VAWG Service Transformation Fund, announced in July.

The money will fund therapeutic support for young people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence either as a victim or witness for three years. Support will also be available for young people acting in an abusive way towards either their siblings or partners.