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New sexual violence therapies service for Avon and Somerset


From 1 June 2019, the sexual violence psychological therapies service in Avon and Somerset will be provided by the Avon and Somerset Sexual Violence Consortium - a group of local specialist service providers made up of Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support, with Bristol-based charities Womankind and The Green House.

The service provides essential support and treatment for survivors of rape and serious sexual assault including adults aged 18-plus who have experienced rape and serious sexual assault within the last 12 months; and children, regardless of when the assault or abuse took place.

It is commissioned by the three local clinical commissioning groups – Bath & North-East Somerset, Somerset, and Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCGs – working with the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Avon and Somerset and NHS England. The service is funded by the OPCC and NHS England.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “By working together we offer the best possible support to survivors of rape and sexual assault. We need to make sure we are providing the right support from the right people in the right place to help them on the road to recovery and this new service is a step in the right direction.”

The Consortium’s service will build on the high quality services offered by current provider The Bridge Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

Sexual violence therapies services will continue to be provided by The Bridge until the end of May 2019 and The Bridge will remain the main SARC for the Avon and Somerset area.

The Consortium will offer a wide variety of therapeutic interventions from locations across Avon and Somerset and people can continue to refer themselves to the service, or be referred by a professional such as their GP or Independent Sexual Violence Advisor.

The Bridge and The Consortium are writing to service users to notify them of the new arrangements.

Posted on Monday 3rd June 2019
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