12 March, 2021

Women and girls are speaking up about how they often feel scared as they go about their daily business

Julia Mulligan and Sophie Linden, have sought to reassure women and girls that they should in no way feel responsible for sexual or violent abuse perpetrated by men.

The Victims Leads for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, Julia Mulligan and Sophie Linden, have sought to reassure women and girls that they should in no way feel responsible for sexual or violent abuse perpetrated by men.

In a joint statement they said:

“Many women and girls are speaking up about how they often feel scared as they go about their daily business. They shouldn’t have to feel scared, but they do.

“And in the rare instances that someone is attacked, the victim should certainly not be made to feel ashamed or in any way responsible. It is the offender, and no-one else, who is 100% responsible for the crime.

“Police and Crime Commissioners are funding projects right across England and Wales which work with perpetrators of abuse to prevent further offending. We also commission services which offer support and counselling to vulnerable victims whenever and however they need to access it. Wider society also has a part to play in making our communities safer. That includes working with young people and teaching them about safe, respectful relationships.

“We also need to look at the issues within the criminal justice system which can dissuade victims from wanting to seek help. Women need to know that they will receive justice, not be judged.”

Support services in North Yorkshire to help victims cope and recover

Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire

Supporting Victims is a telephone based service providing support for anyone affected by crime in North Yorkshire, whether reported to the police or not.

This includes victims, bereaved relatives, those under 18 with consent, parents or guardians of victims under 18 and members of staff where a business has been a victim of crime. Individuals can self-refer to Supporting Victims and agencies can make direct referrals. Supporting Victims is also the Independent Reporting route for victims of hate crime (whether reported to the police or not):

Victims will be asked a few questions to find out how they have been affected by the crime and to identify the support that can be provided. This includes immediate practical and emotional support over the phone; onward referral into specialist services, including those commissioned by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner; and signposting to other support organisations as appropriate.

Supporting Victims staff are trained and experienced in helping victims understand what has happened and supporting them to cope with the immediate impact and recover from the harm experienced.

Domestic Abuse Victims Community Based Support services

Delivered by Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS).

Support is available for anyone aged 16 and over who is a direct victim or survivor of domestic abuse. Support is available for all genders and regardless of sexual orientation.

Individuals can self-refer and support is available whether you want to make a formal report to the police or not.

The services offer:

  • Community engagement and Champions training to raise awareness of all forms of domestic abuse
  • Early intervention and prevention advice and support
  • 1 to 1 emotional and practical support, including support through any police investigation and/or court proceedings
  • Target Hardening where necessary to help victims remain safely within their own homes
  • Supported group work and peer support networks
  • Onward referrals and/or liaison with other agencies and support services as appropriate

The overall objective of the service is to enable all victims and survivors of domestic abuse to cope with the immediate impacts of crime and recover from the harm experienced, and reach out to more people who are victims and survivors of domestic abuse through targeted community engagement to encourage an increase in self-reporting to access support. The aim is for victims and survivors to be and feel safer in their own home, and to be able to support themselves independently, or through an appropriate peer support network by the end of the provision of support. Referrals can be made by police officers and other professionals working with victims and survivors as well as self-referrals, and support is available whether individuals want to make a formal report to the police or not:

All referrals will initially be reviewed by specialist domestic abuse staff in a centralised referral hub who will complete an initial assessment looking at risk and need, providing triage, immediate advice, support and safety planning including arranging personal or home security equipment as required. For those that require further support, the hub team will refer on to a Safe Lives Accredited (Independent Domestic Violence Adviser accredited) Domestic Abuse Practitioner to provide specialist 1 to 1 support, peer support group and/or to an external agency.