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Supporting survivors of sexual violence – views needed to shape the future services

POLICE and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite is appealing to survivors of sexual violence to share their views on support services.

A survey is being hosted on the Commissioner’s website to capture the experiences of survivors. A second survey also asks stakeholders, such as staff who refer survivors to services, or those who provide the support, to air their views too.

The consultation marks the start of a re-commissioning exercise and will contribute to future service development.

In Cambridgeshire the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (called The Elms) is based in Huntingdon and provides a single place where victims can seek specialist clinical help whether they have contacted the police or not. For example an examination can be offered. This service is jointly funded by Cambridgeshire Constabulary and NHS England.

Emotional and practical support can accessed through the Cambridge and Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership. Specialist workers called Independent Sexual Violence Advisers and a team of volunteers provide emotional and practical help. This service is also available whether someone has reported to the police or not.

Police and Crime Commissioners are responsible for commissioning these support services for survivors in partnership with other agencies. In Cambridgeshire funding comes from the Commissioner, through his Victim Services Fund, Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council and NHS England. Cambridgeshire is also one of five areas with responsibility for commissioning local services funded through the Home Office’s Rape Support Fund. This enables services to better meet local needs.

Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite, said: “Sexual violence and rape can have a significant and long-lasting impact on those who experience it. Being able to access the right support at a time which is right for them can be important to help them cope with their experience.

“It is important that the agencies who jointly fund these local specialist services know what people think of them. We need to know what’s great, what’s good and what needs further development or, where possible, investment.”

The surveys take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Links to the surveys can be found here: (Stakeholders) (Survivors)

For further information on the consultation see here.