Government announces £7 million funding boost for survivors of sexual violence
19 Dec 2014
The Home Secretary Theresa May and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling have today (19th December 2014) announced an extra £7m funding to help victims of sexual violence. The funding will run to the end of the 2015/16 financial year.
There has been a 40 per cent increase in child sexual offences recorded by police in the last two years. A £2 million fund will be available for organisations reporting an increase in referrals prompted by the Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry.
All services which support victims of child sexual abuse will be eligible to apply for a share of the fund, with bids assessed against a range of criteria and allocated to ensure urgent needs are met.
In addition to this money, £2.85m will be available for organisations across England and Wales which support victims of sexual abuse. This will be administered in parallel with the child sexual abuse fund.
Meanwhile, a further £2.15m will be given to 84 existing Female Rape Support Centres on top of current Ministry of Justice funding – meaning more victims of sexual assault will have access to specialist help than ever before.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said:
"It is crucial that victims of horrendous crimes like rape and sexual violence receive the specialist support they need to help them cope and recover, wherever they live and no matter whether they are victims of historical or recent abuse.
"That's why we have pledged even more money for these centres which are ideally placed to offer expert support."
Home Secretary Theresa May said:
“We have established a Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry to get to the truth of what has happened in the past, and ensure it can never be repeated.
“We know more victims are coming forward and reporting the abuse they have suffered to support services, and police, as public confidence increases that allegations will be taken seriously, treated sensitively and pursued vigorously.
“As a result, service providers are under considerable pressure. The funding announced today will ensure that victims of child sexual abuse receive the support they need, when they need it.”
Rape Crisis England & Wales spokesperson Katie Russell said:
"Member Rape Crisis organisations across England and Wales responded to over 150,000 helpline calls and delivered over 300,000 individual sessions of specialist support to survivors of sexual violence last year, and these figures continue to rise.
In October 2014 alone, the national Rape Crisis England & Wales website received over 1.2 million hits.
Rape Crisis services are independent, confidential, and for survivors of all forms of sexual violence, no matter how long ago their experiences took place and regardless of whether or not they have chosen to report to the police.
Today's announcement recognises the considerable expertise and experience of our staff and volunteers across the Rape Crisis network, and that of other specialist sexual violence support organisations.
This funding is crucial to ensuring we can continue to meet the needs of survivors of childhood sexual abuse, rape and all types of sexual violence into the future."