Following successful applications to the Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has secured over £1.4 million per annum (£4.4m in total) of funding over the next three years to support victims across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.
Victims and survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse will benefit from extra support following an additional £4.4 million of Ministry of Justice funding secured by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley.
This funding will be used to create new services where there is not currently any specialist support, such as a new stalking service, as well as providing increased support where there is currently a large area of demand.
It will also be utilised to create new specialist support for people with protected characteristics who are often under-represented in services (e.g. BAME communities, LGBT+ people and older people).
Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “I am delighted to announce that my office has successfully secured this additional funding from the Ministry of Justice for the next three years. It will provide essential support to many organisations supporting victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence across the Thames Valley.
“This will also be used to fund dedicated posts to supporting particular groups who for a range of reasons can be less likely to access support such as men, older people and victims within LGBTQ+ and BAMER communities.
“Not only will this funding make a difference to these organisations, but also ensures victims and survivors are supported for the long-term. In addition, we will be able to increase the level of specialist service provision to provide victims better access to much needed support to help them recover from the harm they’ve experienced.”
A total of 19 organisations across the Thames Valley will benefit from this additional funding, including:
- Aurora New Dawn – A new stalking service which will provide specialist support to victims of stalking across Thames Valley
- Browns Community Service – Providing counselling support for victims of sexual violence and/or domestic abuse across Thames Valley
- Hourglass – Funding two Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) to support older people in East Berkshire, Oxfordshire and North Buckinghamshire
- Parents and Children Together (PACT) – Will provide group and one-to-one support (including play therapy) to children aged 5-11 who have witness domestic abuse across Berkshire and Oxfordshire
- SAFE! – Funding three Independent Domestic/Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA/IDVAs) for the Thames Valley and a group programme to support young people aged 11-18 who have experienced trauma due to domestic abuse.
Many of these services are new and will be setting up in the coming months. Further details of the services will be available on a directory on www.victims-first.org.uk as and when they launch.
Anybody who has experienced sexual violence or domestic abuse can access support through Victims First on 0300 1234 148 or by visiting www.victims-first.org.uk. This support is available regardless of whether someone has reported the crime to the police or not.