Vital support for victims of sexual and domestic abuse across Cleveland has received a million pound boost.
In awarding the money, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said it had been impressed by the high quality bid put forward by the Cleveland Office of Police and Crime Commissioner.
The new £880,000 awarded by MoJ is in addition to previously announced funding and means a total of £1,009,110 has been secured to fund current independent advisor posts and create 13 new ones, including two specialising in assisting rural communities.
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner said, “I am delighted that my office has successfully secured this funding which will provide a significant and much needed boost to the support we currently provide to victims.
“I know there are some who have concerns that funding is sometimes channelled solely to our urban areas, so I am pleased to confirm that the new posts created will include advisors specifically for rural areas.”
Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) work in close partnership with a range of agencies to ensure the safety of victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA) do the same for victims of sexual violence.
Advisors are fully trained, specialist staff who prioritise safety, reduce risk and provide an independent voice for the victim. They may also have specialist training to work with young people or those from specific groups of society.
By integrating within health care settings, as well as engaging with established community groups, specialist rural and hospital-based advisors will allow the service to pro-actively reach out to victims who may not traditionally report to police.
Advisors act as a single point of contact for victims. They provide accurate and impartial information as well as emotional and practical support to victims and their dependents on a range of issues including legal and housing issues and throughout the often harrowing time before, during and after court cases.
The boost comes at a vital time, as staff are already working at capacity and it is expected the relaxing of Covid restrictions could lead to an increase in the number of victims coming forward.
To learn more about the work of IDVA and ISVA or if you or someone you know has suffered domestic or sexual abuse please visit www.cleveland.pcc.police.uk/how-can-we-help/supporting-victims/