Avon and Somerset’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) was one of five chosen commended for the fantastic work the team has achieved following Home Office Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Transformation funding last year.
PCC for Avon and Somerset, Sue Mountstevens said “In 2017 my team, working with the local specialist sexual violence sector, put in a bid to the Home Office VAWG Transformation Fund with big aspirations to improve outcomes for victims. Tackling sexual violence and abuse has been something I have prioritised over my time in office and a key part of my Police and Crime Plan; it is incredibly important to me that we work hard to listen to victims and empower them to cope and then recover from what has happened. We have a range of services in place in Avon and Somerset, but we wanted to use this opportunity to do something different and transform the way we support victims specifically with needs linked to their mental health or learning difficulties. This was an emerging theme and we felt that with some targeted work we could better understand what worked and provide more effective services.
“I was delighted to be awarded the funding, which means we are now working to improve outcomes for some of the most vulnerable victims of sexual assault. While only a small grant - £123,465 over three years - we have already made a big impact and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve by working together. Over and above the direct support that this funding is providing, I have been impressed with the new partnerships and ways of working that are already emerging, not only within the specialist sexual violence sector, but more broadly working with mental health and learning difficulty support agencies.”
Carol Metters MBE, CEO Safelink, commented: “The importance of this service cannot be overstated. It gives seldom heard voices an opportunity to tell their story and get the support they so badly need. It is not just the service they have changed but their voice has had a profound impact on the whole organisation.”
Kyra Bond, Director Womankind, added: “There are different barriers for many survivors in accessing services when they need them. This project provides longer-term and holistic support that helps survivors to manage a range of issues that affect them. We know that survivors have a remarkable capacity to recover once they receive the right help.”
Posted on Friday 21st December 2018