Charities in Cleveland are getting extra cash to cope with the rising demand for counselling services following sexual abuse and violence, thanks to Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) as given £92,092 to EVA Women’s Aid and Arch Teesside.
This one-off grant from NHS England will provide additional, specialist counselling sessions and help to reduce waiting lists across Cleveland.
Both charities report that demand for sexual abuse and violence counselling has risen by about 20 per cent over the past year.
They attribute the increase to growing awareness among the public of both sexual abuse and violence. Victims are also more willing to seek help to recover.
Arch Teesside has been awarded £57,679.53 to deliver specialist sexual abuse and violence counselling to men, women and children.
The charity has recently been promoting its specialist services more widely in Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees.
Eva has been given £34,412.47 to deliver specialist sexual abuse and violence counselling to women and children in Redcar and Cleveland.
Richinda Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Eva Women’s Aid, said: “We are very grateful to receive this funding, which will help us meet the needs of the survivors of sexual violence in Redcar and Cleveland.
“Our waiting lists are always higher than we would like and this mean we can increase capacity so we can offer specialist counselling to more survivors.”
Heartbreaking survivors’ stories
Nicky Harkin, Chief Executive Officer of Arch Teesside, said: “Receiving the funding is amazing. There are far too many heartbreaking stories of trauma suffered by survivors and this funding will ensure that support is in place for more people.
“It will mean that we can continue to deliver vital therapeutic support, no matter when the experience has happened or whether the incident has been reported to police or not.”
Cleveland PCC Steve Turner said: “These charities offer a vital service for those recovering from some of the most traumatic crimes committed in our communities. I’m really pleased we have this opportunity to provide additional support.
“This grant will mean that both organisations can help even more victims in a timely manner, which is so important in their recovery.”
The OPCC agreed to split funding based on the level of demand in each area.
Funding will support services from next month until 31 March 2025.