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Over £350,000 additional funding for domestic abuse and sexual violence support services

PCC Mark Shelford has welcomed an investment of £353,116 from the Ministry of Justice to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence across Avon and Somerset.

The much-needed domestic abuse and sexual violence financial uplift will be distributed to 19 victim services across the force area to support victims and survivors of such abuse to cope and recover.

Victim providers will receive one-off grants to fund a range of services including counselling, helplines and coordinator roles. Organisations receiving additional funding include:

  • Trauma Breakthrough (BANES) – £20,000, which will contribute towards sexual violence counselling
  • Womankind (Bristol) – £17,771, which will contribute towards sexual violence counselling
  • The Greenhouse (Bristol) –  £9,843.44, which will support the Thinking Together Group Work project for children and young people who are victims of sexual violence
  • Kinergy (South Gloucestershire) – £20,000, which will contribute towards sexual violence counselling
  • SARSAS (across Avon and Somerset) – £20,000, which will contribute towards sexual violence counselling for homeless children and young people
  • 1625ip (Bath, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and BANES) – £19,000, which will contribute towards domestic abuse and sexual violence counselling
  • Southmead Project (Bristol) – £20,000, which will contribute towards sexual violence and domestic abuse counselling service
  • Julian House (Bristol and South Gloucestershire) – £20,000, which will contribute towards Bristol and South Gloucestershire children and young people service
  • You Trust (Somerset) – £15,5000, which will support domestic abuse counselling
  • Opoka (Bristol) – £18,500, which will support a Polish domestic abuse crisis helpline
  • Victim Support (Bristol) – £40,761, which will support a domestic abuse caseworker
  • Southside (BANES) – £15,5000, which will contribute towards domestic abuse counselling
  • Next Link/ Safe Link (across Avon and Somerset) – £25,000, which will contribute towards peer support
  • Mankind Initiative (Somerset) – £10,000, which will support the Male Pattern Changing Course for male domestic abuse victims
  • VOICES (BANES) – £24,500, which will support a BANES referrals co-ordinator
  • VANS/ Reclaim (North Somerset) – £16,200, which will support domestic abuse counselling
  • Barnardo’s (Somerset) – £18,216, which will children and young people’s therapeutic support
  • Nelsons Trust (Bristol) – £19,000, which will contribute towards women’s safety work for victims with complex needs
  • Young Victims Service (across Avon and Somerset) – £3,325, which will purchase iPads to deliver the Healthier Together programme

“A massive well done to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s (OPCC) Commissioning Team for working hard to allocate this funding to 19 victim services, and I am glad that the Government and Ministry of Justice understanding the importance of supporting our local victim providers.

 “Now more than ever, we need to be supporting victims of domestic and sexual abuse, and this additional investment will help organisations deliver new support and increase their existing services to help even more victims and survivors.”

PCC Mark Shelford

Helen Bedser, Chief Executive at Julian House, added: “This news about extra funding is fantastic. It is sometimes forgotten that children too are affected by domestic abuse – both directly and where there is abuse happening elsewhere in the family. The Julian House Children and Young People’s service has been a significant uplift in incidents during the pandemic. This extra support will allow us to support more, often very vulnerable young individuals.”

Aneta Mackell, Director of Opoka, said: “We have seen unprecedented requests for support to our helpline during the coronavirus pandemic, so this funding is invaluable.”

“We are really pleased to have received this funding as it will make a real difference in allowing is to continue to provide specialist support to men who want to rebuild their lives after domestic abuse. Support for male victims across Avon and Somerset has always been seen as very important and this is further proof of the commitment to ensure that all victims and survivors receive the help they need.”

Mark Brooks OBE, Chair of the Mankind Initiative

Penny McKissock, CEO Southside, said: “We were absolutely delighted to be awarded this additional funding for Southside’s counselling service. The demand for counselling for clients suffering from the impact of domestic abuse has rocketed during the pandemic and without this additional funding we would be overwhelmed by demand.”

Report it

Domestic abuse can be abusive physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual behaviour between adults in a relationship or between family members.

If you or someone you know is at risk of domestic abuse or sexual violence, please speak to someone:

Support for victims and survivors

Help is available whether you report to the police or not, and no matter how long ago the crime took place. Find out more about local support services.