PCC funding boost for local victim services to focus on children and older people
More than £600,000 is to be invested in Norfolk’s support services for people who have been affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence, thanks to extra funding secured by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN).
The money will come on top of funding already provided to victim support services through the OPCCN and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).
Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are responsible for providing specialist victim support services in their police force area and receive annual funding from the MOJ. PCCs also have the opportunity to bid for additional funding being made available by the MOJ and other government departments.
In the latest funding round, £620,983 in additional MOJ funding has been secured by the OPCCN to enhance support services for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in Norfolk, with a particular focus on supporting children and older people.
A third of the extra funding will be used to help local services deliver support to children who are experiencing domestic abuse or are affected by such abuse in the household, as well as victims of sexual abuse and child sexual abuse.
A total of £171,412 of the fund will go to Leeway Domestic Abuse and Violence Services, the Daisy Programme and Fresh Start New Beginnings to help pay for specialist support workers and services for children and young people. In addition to this, newly-elected PCC Giles Orpen-Smellie, is adding an extra £25,796 from his commissioning budget – meaning the organisations will share in a pot of £197,208.
The extra funding will enable Pandora and Daisy to provide specialist domestic abuse workers to work with children and young people, while also enabling Pandora, along with Leeway, to fund Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) specialising in supporting the elderly and those with disabilities and/or complex needs.
IDVAs play a vital role in the county’s response to tackling domestic abuse, focusing on those individuals considered to be at risk of harm. Using specialist skills and expertise, they work closely with victims to assess risk and develop safety plans, offer emotional and practical support and help guide victims through the criminal justice system.
Last year the OPCCN secured funding from the Home Office for two full time and one part-time Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA’s) to help bolster Norfolk’s Sexual Abuse Referral Centre (SARC) - the Harbour Centre.
The final amount of £104,200 will ensure the OPCCN can continue to fund this vital service provided by the SARC - with a particular focus on helping ‘hidden’ victims and those with protected characteristics to access help and support.
Announcing the MOJ funding award, Norfolk PCC Giles Orpen-Smellie said: “Over the course of my election campaign and during my first few weeks in office, I have become increasingly aware of not only the great work being done by our local victim support services, but also the level of demand for their help from those affected by crimes such as domestic and sexual abuse. This extra funding secured by my office will provide a great boost to our local services and the tailored support they can offer to victims of crime.
“As PCC, I am committed to putting victims first. I will do everything I can to support Norfolk’s victim support services to cope with demand and respond to the needs of victims so that, regardless of their age, gender or background, those affected by crime get the right support.”
So-called ‘hidden’ or ‘hard to reach’ victims may include those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups (BAME), people who have a disability, or members of the LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community.
It is against the law to discriminate against someone because of a protected characteristic. For more information visit: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/equality-act/protected-characteristics.
How to get help
To speak to someone about domestic or sexual abuse please call 999 in an emergency or to make a report to police, call 101.
Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care offer a 24hr support line for immediate emotional and practical support for all victims of crime. Call 0300 303 3706.
For more information on help numbers for organisations and charities that can offer tailored DA support visit our supporting victims page >>
The Harbour Centre Sexual Assault Referral Centre offers free support and practical help to people of all ages living in Norfolk who have been raped or sexually assaulted either recently or in the past.
For help and advice, please telephone the Harbour Centre's 24/7 helpline on 01603 276381 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.