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7 July, 2017

£150,000 awarded to bolster support for victims of sexual violence across North Yorkshire

£150,000 has been awarded to the Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS) to support victims of sexual violence across North Yorkshire

IDAS, the Independent Domestic Abuse Service, works across North Yorkshire to help victims of sexual and domestic abuse, and yesterday the Home Office announced it would receive a share of £17m to help girls and women across the country.

The money will be used to increase the number of Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs), from four full time workers to seven to help victims around the region.

The funding was granted following a bid on behalf of IDAS by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire.

A spokesman for the OPCC said: “We are really pleased to receive this vital funding that will go towards supporting victims of sexual violence. The funding will be used to improve the overall experience of victims and survivors of all forms of sexual violence accessing support services.

“ISVAs support any victim or survivor of all forms of sexual violence, including non-recent cases and regardless of gender. The services are available to both those victims going through a criminal investigation or trial and those not involved with the police. ISVAs provide one-to-one support and complete a Risk and Need Assessment to develop a bespoke Support and Safety Plan for every client to ensure that their individual needs are met either by this service or by referring on to a more appropriate service.”

Last year, 322 new referrals were made to ISVAs, and 447 people were supported – mostly aged between 13 and 17.

The new funding will help train ISVAs to work with people with more specific needs, including male victims, those with mental health needs, young people and adults with learning disabilities, and is expected to improve the service for 250 users with “specific needs”.

The spokesman said: “This specialist provision, alongside immediate improvements to the current services, will increase the numbers of people reporting incidents and accessing support at an earlier stage, and ensuring victims, survivors and their families can access the right support at the right time.”

Picture: PCC Julia Mulligan with Carmel Offord and Jan Davos at IDAS at a previous event.