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New Police Commissioner announces funding boost for domestic abuse and sexual violence support services

VICTIMS and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will have access to enhanced levels of support for the next two years thanks to a successful half a million-pound bid to central government for additional resources.

The evidence-based bid, put together by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership, and the local authority domestic abuse and sexual violence partnership team was announced by the county’s newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Darryl Preston, as he started his first day in office.

The award worth £559,984 over two years will fund an extra eight specially trained staff to support the most vulnerable victims in the county enabling four Independent Domestic Abuse Advisers (called IDVAs) and four Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) to be recruited.

The IDVAs will include additional posts to support young people, work with victims with complex needs (such as disabilities), male victims of domestic abuse and underserved members of black and minority ethnic communities. The new staff will join the existing local authority employed IDVA team based in the Victim and Witness Hub in Peterborough and the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub in Godmanchester.

Cambridge and Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership will employ the additional four ISVAs, with an additional post for young people, a dedicated post to support male survivors of rape and sexual violence and two posts (based north and south of the county) for underserved members of black and ethnic minority communities.

“This is a significant amount of money which will make a real difference in making sure victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence get tailored victim-led support,” said Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Darryl Preston.

“My team and I are passionately committed to working in partnership to reduce domestic abuse and sexual violence and ensuring support is available for the victims and survivors of these most harmful of crimes.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in making sure this money comes into our county.”

Norah Al-Ani, Director of Cambridge Rape Crisis added:

“Hearing the news about the additional four posts is just incredible, in particular the two posts to work with members of our seldom heard communities. We know many black and minority ethnic survivors are under-represented in services with only 8% of ISVA service users self-defining as BAME.

“These new posts will enable us to provide responsive and accessible support to survivors from black and minoritised communities and include support for those who are survivors of so-called honour-based violence and FGM, (female genital mutilation), survivors of corrective rape and, with increasing refugee communities in our county, those who are survivors and victims of rape used as a weapon of war.”

Rob Hill, Co-Chair of the DA/SV Delivery Group and Assistant Director: Community Safety at Peterborough City and Cambridgeshire County Council said:

“This award will make an enormous difference to the tailored victim-led support which victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have access to.

“Securing the award was truly a group effort and is a testament to the power of partnership working.”

The funding has been awarded to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Police and Crime Commissioner by the Ministry of Justice.

Details of support services available county-wide can be found here: