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Funding lifeline to support survivors of sexual violence in Nottinghamshire

Posted onPosted on 8th Jun
Funding lifeline to support survivors of sexual violence in Nottinghamshire

Victims and survivors of sexual violence across Nottinghamshire will receive extra support thanks to a cash boost to expand services across the county.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping successfully applied to the Ministry of Justice’s new £2m fund in February to support the services of his award-winning Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) and Children’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (CHISVAs) until 2022.

The funding amounts to £109,375 for 2020-21 and a further £109,375 for 2021-22 (£218,750 in total) which will cover the cost of a new full-time equivalent ISVA and new 1.5 full-time equivalent CHISVA positions.

ISVAs and Children’s ISVAs provide much-needed informational, practical and emotional support and advocacy for sexual violence survivors.

Included in their work is supporting victims and survivors through the criminal justice system and resolving practical problems with housing, schools or employers which have arisen as a result of their experiences of crime.

The new funding will be integrated into the PCC’s existing ISVA and CHISVA contracts with Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services (NSVSS) and charity Imara and both contracts have been extended until June 2021.

Commenting on the funding, Mr Tipping said: “This is really positive news for our existing ISVA and CHISVA services which offer a lifeline for vulnerable adults and children and play an instrumental role in their recovery from trauma.

“Nottinghamshire is at the forefront of national efforts to advance the care of victims of sexual violence and I am determined to ensure the very best support and attention is available to all survivors from the earliest opportunity.

“I’m pleased that Nottinghamshire has once again impressed on a national platform with its vision and ambition. The MoJ praised the high quality of our proposal and our ability to demonstrate a good understanding of the support landscape, the challenges and the unmet need. However, we will not rest on our laurels and will continue to do everything possible to ensure specialist help is available how and whenever it is needed.”

The PCC was one of just 15 nationally to successfully secure the MoJ funding which forms part of his continued drive to increase support for sexual violence survivors in Nottinghamshire.

Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, both NSVSS and Imara are recruiting new ISVA and CHISVA posts and are looking forward to being able to extend the reach of their services.

Novlet Holness, chief executive of Notts SVS, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the new Ministry of Justice funding, secured by the Nottinghamshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, to further boost the ISVA Service provision for adult survivors in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

“For nearly 40 years, Notts SVS Services have been providing emotional and practical support and counselling to survivors of sexual violence. Furthermore, we have delivered the ISVA Service for over 12 years. During this time we have seen year-on-year increases in the number of survivors wishing to access the Criminal Justice System.

“This new funding will enable us to ensure that people are supported by our caring, professional and award-winning service.

“We are aware that, for those experiencing sexual violence within their home, it will have in all likelihood increased in severity or frequency during the lockdown period. We anticipate a rise in referrals to our service following the easing of restrictions and it is vital that survivors are supported and empowered to access the Criminal Justice System should they choose to do so.”