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07/07/2017

£420,000 Grant to Transform Sexual Violence Services in Cleveland

Sexual violence services in Cleveland are set to receive a £420,000 boost from the Home Office after a successful bid led by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd awarded over £17m to 40 projects across the country from the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Service Transformation Fund, and announced the increased funding for Teesside.

Working with partners across Cleveland, the funding will be used to make innovative improvements to current services, by enhancing the work of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). This will  improve support for vulnerable victims with complex needs, including those from hard to reach, marginalised groups and communities, for example, BME, LGBT and people with learning difficulties. The new enhancements include:

  • Additional training to allow specialist organisations to take the lead on particular aspects of VAWG work, including support for BME victims, older women and under 18s.
  • New ‘VAWG worker roles will be introduced and will be dually qualified to provide support for both sexual and domestic violence victims. These workers will be deployed in our two hospital A&E departments, whilst others will provide specialist support for BME victims.
  • Further investment in the specialised electronic tagging of registered sex offenders, so larger numbers of offenders can be tracked. This will include covert alerts, which will activate if offenders arrive at high risk locations.

PCC Barry Coppinger said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to work with partners to secure this essential funding to further develop work to support women and girls subjected to violence.

“We will use the VAWG Transformation Fund as a catalyst to build on a more coordinated and sustainable approach to support victims’ needs, by reducing waiting times and a consistent approach across the area that focuses on hard to reach, marginalised groups.”

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