Breckland domestic abuse charity to extend support services to victims of sexual abuse
The help and support available to victims and survivors of sexual abuse in Norfolk is being increased thanks to a partnership between the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and a Breckland-based charity.
The Daisy Programme has been providing support and counselling to people affected by domestic abuse for 6 years. Now, thanks to funding from Norfolk PCC Lorne Green, Daisy will also be offering specialist support for victims of sexual abuse, sexual violence, rape, and recent and historic child sexual abuse.
The new Rowan Project service is being officially launched on 1 February 2021 to coincide with Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week.
Demand for support services has remained high since the launch of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in 2014, and the high-profile cases which triggered it.
Investment by the PCC since he took office in 2016 has helped local service providers to recruit additional counsellors and extend their opening hours to respond to demand, reduce waiting lists and alleviate the pressure on services, their staff and volunteers.
As well as supporting existing sexual abuse services to build capacity, the PCC’s office has been working with other organisations to see how their services and specialist skills could benefit victims of sexual abuse.
The new two-year service being piloted by the Daisy Programme will deliver free, confidential advice and practical and emotional support to Breckland residents affected by sexual abuse through counselling.
To help service users cope with and recover from the harm and psychological distress they have experienced, support will be available over the telephone, online or through face-to-face sessions.
PCC Lorne Green said: “When victims and survivors of sexual abuse and sexual violence take the monumental step to come forward and speak up about what is happening, or has happened to them, we owe it to them to ensure the help and support they need is there for them.
“We have great organisations working in Norfolk to support victims of crime and those vulnerable to victimisation in our society. Where we see opportunities to build on the strengths and experience of service providers for the benefit of those who need help and support, we should act on them.
“Daisy Programme has a wealth of knowledge, skill and expertise when it comes to supporting victims who have experienced abuse at the hands of others. Many of the clients who come to them having experienced domestic abuse have also been affected by sexual violence, rape or sexual abuse.
“I have seen first hand the wonderful work Daisy does and am delighted that they will be offering this new Rowan Project service in Breckland to bolster the help and support on offer in Norfolk for those whose lives have been impacted by these heinous crimes. My goal in funding this service is that victims, with the Rowan Project’s support, will be able to take their own personal journey to cope and recover.””
Leigh Taylor, Programme Director for the Daisy Programme, said: “Adding sexual abuse counselling to our existing offering to support survivors of domestic abuse is a great step forward.
“Within our work we have seen the close correlation between the two forms of abuse and we are confident we will be able to support more people in our community to receive the vital support that they need.
“We are also grateful to the PCC office in recognising this need and thank Lorne Green and his team for making this happen.”
The support services provided by Daisy Programme can be accessed via:
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 01953 878488