PCC secures extra funding for young victims of serious sexual crime
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, has been successful in securing £250,000 of funding from the Home Office that will directly help and support child victims of serious sexual assault and domestic abuse.
Mrs Bourne was one of 37 PCCs who have been allocated funding from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) following a rigorous evaluation process back in the Spring.
Mrs Bourne said: “As a mother, there is nothing more harrowing than knowing there are children out there in Sussex who are victims of the most horrendous sexual crimes.
“The two key services in Sussex that will be receiving extra funding are Child Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (CISVAs) and Child Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (CIDVAs). The vital work of the advocates from both of these services is nationally recognised by partners including the police.
“I was aware that there is not enough provision for supporting children and young people who are victims or witnesses of serious sexual assault in Sussex. This extra money will fund more posts within the Sexual Assault Referral Centre) in Crawley and subsequently provide much needed individual support to young victims and witnesses at a time in their lives when they are at their most vulnerable.”
Vanessa Fowler, joint chair of SARC said: “These dedicated Children and Young Peoples posts will provide essential help and support to victims. This compliments our current work which is planning the provision of further health funded resources and the improvement of services for victims under 13. It will also provide dedicated, expert support for victims aged 13 and over at our service based at Crawley Hospital.
“The Commissioner’s commitment to helping victims in their recovery as survivors will serve to further support our multi-agency aspiration for platinum services for Children and Young People who are victims of sexual assault in Sussex.”
Commenting on extra funding for two more CIDVAs, Mrs Bourne said: “Encouraging more reporting of domestic abuse is, and will remain, a priority throughout my term in office. Domestic abuse affects all ages in our society and there is an increasing number of young people who are victims and/or witnesses of domestic abuse. Extra funding will support these young people to cope and recover from the impact of domestic abuse and help them get the justice they deserve.”
Trish Harrison from WORTH, West Sussex Domestic Violence Services said: “Children and Young People who experience domestic/sexual abuse need and deserve the very best specialist care and support.
“I am delighted that Katy Bourne has identified that more provision for children and young people is needed and that she been successful in securing this money for Sussex.
“The new roles that this money will provide will mean that children and young people affected by domestic/sexual abuse will have someone to support them in their own right, providing practical, age appropriate support, to help them cope with, and recover from the trauma of their experiences.”