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Supporting survivors of sexual violence and child sexual abuse

POLICE and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite has today (8th July) published details of what services he intends to put in place to support survivors of sexual violence and child sexual abuse from April 2020.

The document, called ‘Commissioning Intentions’ sets out what elements of support will be funded over the next four years through a countywide support service.

This marks the start of a formal re-commissioning process which kicks off with an engagement event for potential suppliers later this month.

The Commissioner launched a two-pronged consultation in June asking for the views of service users and stakeholders (professionals who refer people into services) on existing provision. These surveys will remain open until July 18 and have already seen more than 65 people complete them.

Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite puts supporting victims of crime at the heart of his Police and Crime Plan. “I have seen first-hand how the right support can transform a victim’s life,” he said.

“The feedback from service users about the staff, called Independent Sexual Violence Advocates, who provide much of that one-to-one support, has been amazing. This is why I have decided to ring fence money for a fully funded ISVA Service for both adults and children.”

Funding will also be made available for a Community Emotional Support Service.

In Cambridgeshire, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner leads the commissioning of sexual violence support services on behalf of partner agencies. A pooled budget arrangement, with Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council and NHS England, ensures best value is achieved and an equitable service provided.

Cambridgeshire is one of five areas selected to take part in a sexual violence local commissioning test with the Home Office. This means the county’s allocation from the national Rape Support Fund is devolved to the Police and Crime Commissioner. This is not all new money but allows the funds to be used to respond to local commissioning needs.

This process will be carried out in tandem with the commissioning of the county’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

You can read the Commissioning Intentions and Background Information on the Commissioner’s website here: