Walker welcomes funding grant for rape and sexual abuse support services

Worcester MP, Robin Walker has welcomed the announcement that Worcestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre will receive £259,560, and the Herefordshire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre will receive £194,670 to provide support services for victims of rape and sexual abuse in the local area.

The funding announced today is part of the commitment made in the Victims Strategy to improve support for victims of sexual violence, so that those who come forward can receive timely and high-quality support. The Victims Strategy sets out commitments to develop a new delivery model for victim support services; coordinating between victim services and statutory organisations.

Nationally over 150,000 sexual offences were recorded by police last year, with 1 in 5 women having experienced some type of sexual assault in their lifetime. Notwithstanding the fact that crimes of this nature often go unreported. Among the services receiving a funding boost is a national helpline and webchat service to provide support for male victims following a significant rise in the number of men and boys coming forward to report sexual crime.

Worcestershire and Herefordshire were amongst the 79 rape support centres awarded grants nationally, and the funding will go towards a range of services, such as tailored face-to-face support and counselling to help victims cope with and, as far as possible, recover from these horrific crimes.

This funding forms part of the £96 million from the Department of Justice to increase access to services that help victims to cope with and recover from the impact of crime.

Robin said:

“I am pleased that, for the first time, there will be centrally funded rape support services across Worcestershire and the rest of the country.”

“Worcestershire and Herefordshire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centres passed through a comprehensive bidding process, and demonstrated their ability to provide high-quality, victim-focused support.”

“This funding is now guaranteed over three years, compared to 12 months previously, which will provide the Worcestershire and Herefordshire centres with greater stability and security to ensure they can focus on delivering their essential services.”

Victims Minister Edward Argar, said:

“Victims of rape and sexual violence show immense courage in coming forward – and they must have confidence that the right support will be there when it is needed.”

“Today we are providing funding across more regions than ever, supporting more centres than ever, increasing the overall amount of funding and moving to a three-year funding cycle. We are determined to continue to improve access to these vital services for victims to help them rebuild their lives after these devastating crimes.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information on the announcement, see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-boost-for-victims-of-rape-and-sexual-abuse