The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has secured over £1.4million over a three-year period to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
The extra funding follows the Ministry of Justice’s recent announcement of an additional £6.6million per year nationally to help services supporting victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse. The total funding pot ring-fenced for PCCs across England and Wales to commission domestic and sexual violence services now totals £21.7million, complementing existing funding available from Government, local authorities, health and others as set out in the Victims Funding Strategy.
In Avon and Somerset, the funding will be used to provide counselling for survivors of domestic and sexual violence including children and young adults, increase capacity to help more victims, run peer support groups and engage with women in the Criminal Justice System.
“I am delighted that the OPCC and victim providers have secured this additional funding from the Ministry of Justice.
“The extra funding will allow local organisations to support more people across Avon and Somerset – including children and young adults – with lived experiences of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
“Our local victim services will be able to continue to increase their capacity and, as a result, engage and support more victims in a range of ways including workshops, counselling and peer support groups.
“As I’ve said before, it is essential that victims know that help and support is available when they want to access it. The funding over a three-year period will make a massive difference to the services who will receive it and ensure victims are supported in the long-term.”PCC Mark Shelford
A total of 19 local organisations across Avon and Somerset will benefit from this additional funding including:
- The Green House and Somerset Phoenix Project will receive £64,150.40 to jointly deliver psychoeducational workshop to families and young people as well as increase the team’s capacity
- Womankind will receive £22.955 to provide additional sexual violence trauma counselling sessions specifically for minority ethnic women
- SARSAS will receive £42,500 to provide 460 sessions of trauma-informed sexual violence counselling per year to meet increased demand
- Mankind Initiative will receive £8,000 to continue to deliver their nine-week virtual group Pattern Changing Recovery Programme for male victims and survivors of domestic abuse
- Southmead Project will receive £28,931.30 to provided additional counselling support for those with lived experiences of sexual violence and domestic abuse
- Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse will receive £15,750 to provide specialist practical and emotional support to families bereaved by suicide or unexplained deaths following domestic abuse
- Southside Family Project will receive £21,645 to provide targeted counselling for those who receive Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) support
- Opoka will receive £18,500 to provide specialist advocacy and bilingual support to Polish victims and families of domestic abuse including helping to navigate them through the Criminal Justice System, access legal aid and provide counselling
- VOICES will receive £20,000 to fund a gateway service that allows recovery support work to take place
- Kinergy will receive £36,000 to provide additional counselling for victims of sexual violence
- Young Victims Service (YVS) will receive £45,000 to increase their ability to focus on online and peer-on-peer sexual offences, helping YVS respond to the increasing needs of children affected by online harms, child sexual abuse, harassment and sexual bullying
- Victim Support will receive £19,624.50 to support those affected by child to parent abuse, helping parents to increase their support network, diminish parental shame and learn new parenting strategies including conflict resolution
- Next Link will receive £25,811.20 to provide peer support facilitators to support victims of domestic abuse including a dedicated Black and minoritised victim group, young victim group and LGBTQ+ victim group within the programme
- Safe Link will receive £25,811.20 to also provide peer support facilitators to support victims of sexual violence including a dedicated Black and minoritised victim group, young victim group and LGBTQ+ victim group within the programme
- The Reclaim Project will receive £38,000 to offer counselling to adults and young adults who have lived experiences of domestic abuse
- Trauma Breakthrough will receive £20,000 towards their long-term, specialist trauma focused therapy for survivors who are psychologically ready to work on their trauma-related mental health problems
- Nelson Trust will receive £19,000 to engage with women in the Criminal Justice System who have complex needs and have lived experiences of domestic and sexual violence
- IP1625 will receive £19,000 to provide a wellbeing coach that offers a range of support for young people who have or who are experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence
In addition, the OPCC supported Trauma Breakthrough to seek a further year’s funding from the Ministry of Justice’s Male Rape Support Fund. The grant of £20,897 for 2022/23 will enable them to continue with their psychotherapy group for male survivors, short-term psychoeducational and skills support for early intervention as well as access to drop-in crisis support.