- More than three-quarters of a million pounds has been secured by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to provide support to victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse in Gloucestershire
- 9 specialist advisor roles will have their contracts extended for two years and two new roles will be created. All 11 roles will be funded until 2025.
- Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has secured funding to pay for 5 Independent Domestic Violence Advisors, 5 Independent Sexual Violence Advisors and one Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker.
- The roles sit within organisations such as Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS), Victim Support and Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (GRASAC) – but are funded using money from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ)
- The MoJ has granted the funding for two years, until March 2025.
Victims of sexual violence or domestic abuse in Gloucestershire will be able to access better support for a further two years, as Gloucestershire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) secures an additional £774,711 from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
In 2021, Gloucestershire’s OPCC bid for MoJ funding to pay for seven new roles across organisations including Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Assault Centre (GRASAC); Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS); and West Mercia Women’s Aid (WMWA) which operated STREET in Gloucestershire (Safe Teenage Relationships, Education and Empowerment). Victim Support has now taken over the service previously offered by WMWA.
Last year, the team secured £469,363 to pay for these important positions until March 2023. However, the MoJ has now announced an extension to this funding – providing more than half a million pounds over the next two years, allowing local organisations to provide this essential support until March 2025.
The roles include two Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) and five Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs). Two of the roles specifically support young people.
Two other ISVA positions, already based within GRASAC that were funded in 2020 until March 2023, will also benefit from the 2022 extension of funding, resulting in security for nine positions over the next two years.
An ISVA is an advisor who works with people who have experienced rape and sexual assault, irrespective of whether they have reported to the police. An IDVA addresses the safety of victims at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members, to secure their safety.
In addition to the funding extensions, two new roles – a Children and Young Person’s ISVA, and an Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker (ISAC) will be created. Both new posts will be funded until 2025.
Chris Nelson, Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “It’s very encouraging to see the Ministry of Justice extending the funding of these essential roles for a further two years and investing in more support for victims. This will allow a more strategic approach to deal with these high impact crimes.
“It demonstrates that the MoJ sees real value in tackling violence against women and girls and in supporting victims – two of the important pillars of my Police and Crime Prevention Plan. This extended funding will help hundreds of victims and survivors across the county.”