The Office of the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner has received an additional £308,582 per year, from 2022 to 2025, for victim support services in County Durham and Darlington. This is to increase capacity and support those affected by sexual violence and domestic abuse, sitting alongside the new ‘front door’ referral process.
This comes as part of an additional £6.6 million per year national commitment from the Ministry of Justice, equating to £21.7 million for PCC’s across the country to commission for these causes. Commissioner Joy Allen has used this funding in an effort to target the safer people initiative across the patch.
This funding has now been awarded to charities; Victim Care and Advice Service, Changing Lives, Cornforth Partnership and Aspire, FREE Program, The Halo Project, Just for Women and RSACC.
This will be used by the provider to deliver:
· Aspire will continue to deliver peer support groups, wellbeing sessions and 1:1 listening to empower female survivors of domestic abuse.
· The Cornforth Partnership plans to create more opportunities for past and present victims of abuse, include peer support groups which are participant led, delivering training to empower female survivors of abuse.
· Just for Women will now recruit an additional 40 individuals per month through counselling as well as workshops to help relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety, and trauma.
· The Halo Project will continue to deliver on its aim to eliminate forced marriage, honour-based violence and FGM within society.
· The FREE Programme, delivered by Durham Constabulary’s Integrated Offender Management Unit, will work to assist women to reach independent living to become free from addiction and abuse
· Darlington & Co. Durham Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (RSACC) has been awarded funding to increases it's capacity to provide counselling all victims (men and women) of sexual violence.
· Changing Lives, via GAP Project, will deliver support victims of Sexual Exploitation.
· Victim Care and Advice Service will appoint two RASSO First Contact Navigators, who will be the workforce behind a centralised triage service for sexual violence support services.
The PCC is determined to provide the very best care and support to all victims of Domestic Abuse and Sexual violence from the earliest opportunity and throughout their recovery. Commissioner Joy Allen, said “We recognise that for some people an essential part of recovery is access to specialist counselling services and community-based recovery. These have both been heavily impacted by COVID restrictions in the past couple of years. This is why we are pleased to announce funding to these services to ensure people across our community can have timely access to these valuable resources.”
Many of the victims that have spoken to our Victim’s Champions have praised the services delivered by our community-based projects and their ability to provide wrap around support to those that access their services, including victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. This funding has contributed to the continuation of these valuable services across County Durham and Darlington.
College bars at Durham University have been praised by PCC for meeting strict standards of safety as part of a national accreditation scheme.
Four outstanding Community Peer Mentor volunteers have been invited to Royal celebration events to mark King Charles III’s Coronation.
PCC has praised the swift roll-out of a free security scheme helping former victims of crime and their neighbours to feel safer in their homes.