As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues, the work of specialist voluntary and community organisations who support vulnerable victims becomes harder. The announcement that additional funding from the government will be available to support these organisations is welcomed by Acting Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Steve White.
There is a range of specialist support organisations across County Durham and Darlington who are in need of additional funding to enable them to continue to support victims of crime. Organisations like the Rape and Sexual Assault Counselling Centre (RSACC), support some of the most vulnerable people in society. Their face to face counselling and the support of an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) helps to change the life of a victim, as they attempt to deal with the devastating trauma which they have faced. The majority of support is usually provided face to face, however the current social distancing guidelines, mean that providing this support in its current format is nearly impossible.
The nature of a national response often means that the funding to introduce alternative ways of maintaining crucial support for victims can take a while to find its way to local organisations. The Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner is committed to providing the resources necessary to sustain local delivery of services until the national funding reaches our communities. Maintaining continuity of support for some of our most vulnerable victims remains a high priority especially during these challenging times.
Steve White Acting Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner said: “It is fantastic that nationally there has been an acknowledgement that our key support organisations need additional funding to adapt to providing their services in the current challenging environment. However we don’t know who long this funding may take to come through. Time is a critical factor for these victims, therefore In the interim I am supporting local delivery of services where I can whilst they wait for the funding to come through. The innovations and determination for support services such as RSACC to adapt to support their clients are fantastic. Their new helpline will increase their capacity and the move to provide online counselling will be a huge benefit to victims.”
Deborah Barker, CEO of RSACC said: “We are so grateful to the Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for helping us to get these new ways of working up and running whilst we wait for the funding from the government. This enables us to continue to support our clients at a time when many are struggling to cope with the long term impacts of sexual violence.”
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Posted on Monday 20th April 2020