More funding secured to support vulnerable victims of the most serious crimes
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside (OPCC) have secured £105,000 from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to fund three Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs). This will allow the three advisors to be added to the team at The Blue Door, who are commissioned by the OPCC to provide support services for adults and children affected by sexual violence across the Humber area. The funding runs until March 2022.
This follows the recent announcement that the OPCC had been successful in a bid to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to secure over £300,000 to aid organisations during the Covid pandemic who help support vulnerable people.
Keith Hunter said: ‘When I was elected in 2016 I made it a priority to provide services to victims and the vulnerable that meet their needs. Many victims of sexual violence are reluctant to report their ordeal to the police or other agencies. Only by providing a high quality of service that supports, reassures and guides them, can we help them to rebuild their lives and reduce the future risk of reoccurrence. I am pleased my office has again been able to secure Government funding and support victims of the most serious crimes.”
The ISVA roles provide invaluable emotional support and guidance for victims who are either currently experiencing or have historically experienced the traumatic effects of sexual assault. They help survivors to report their ordeal, provide emotional support through forensic and DNA retrieval, through to trauma issues resulting from the assault and guide them through the judicial process beyond. More information on the work of The Blue Door can be found at www.thebluedoor.org
Case study from The Blue Door
‘Cathy’ self-referred in to The Blue Door in August 2019, affected by historical sexual abuse when she was fifteen. She had spoken to her partner about it and he had become verbally abusive towards her, telling her she was trying to seek attention and it really wasn’t bad in any case. This had made her doubt whether it really was abuse at all. There were other elements of abuse in her relationship with her partner which we were able to refer on to domestic violence services and the client is no longer in this relationship.
Through phone calls initially and then a face to face meetings, taking care not to become aware of the details of the case, support workers were able to validate her testimony and she went on to report the historical abuse to the police. The validation and reassurance given to ‘Cathy’ has empowered her hugely and in her own words she feels it is now okay to invest in herself so she is making different and better choices in all aspects of her life. She describes this support as healing and thanks her caseworker for this in every contact.
In addition to these services, anyone in the Humberside police area who has experienced sexual violence or abuse can contact the CASA Suite (Care After Sexual Assault). More information is available at www.casasuite.org
Posted on Monday 13th July 2020