Recovered Proceeds of Crime money helping to support victims of sexual abuse (18 Sep 2018)

Money recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) has been used by a West Yorkshire charity to support victims of sexual abuse.

Kirklees and Calderdale Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (KCRASACC) received £3,928 from the County's Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson to increase access to their helpline and online services.

The money came from the Commissioner's Safer Communities Fund and was used to pay for promotion materials, training and staff costs.

KCRASACC is a registered charity, formed in 1989, which supports people in the local communities who have been raped, sexually assaulted or experienced sexual and domestic violence.

Their services include:

  • Emotional support sessions.
  • Helpline and online services such as web chat and anonymous text.
  • Office based counselling in South Kirklees.
  • Pre- trial therapy service.
  • ISVA Independent Sexual Violence Advisor.
  • Volunteering opportunities.
  • Outreach in varied community settings.

Mark visited the charity yesterday (17/09) and said: "I pledged to put victims first so I was very pleased to be able to support Kirklees and Calderdale Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre who are doing some fantastic work.

"It was an honour to meet some of the team yesterday and hear more about how they used the money from the Safer Communities Fund to promote their services.

"Ensuring our communities know that help is available is a crucial part of stopping the cycle of abuse and increasing the confidence of victims to come forward and report offences."

Heather Cooper, Chief Executive Officer at KCRASACC said: "We thank the PCC for their contribution towards staff costs and materials from the safer communities fund, this helped towards the funding of the helpline which we piloted to give survivors more access to our services."

Speaking on KCRASACC, a service user said: "I have had ill health for a number of years mostly psychological in the form of depression which left me with limited functionality to do the day to day things required of a parent and wife. I saw a programme on TV which dealt with issues like mine with a helpline number which I rang and was given KCRASACC helpline number.

"I was scared to ring the number at first and confess that the first time I did ring I couldn't speak. I tried again a few days later and spoke to Layla she was amazing I didn't feel judged and she was easy to talk to she listened to my story and believed me. She gave me links to their website that helped me through some of my dark times.

"Sexual Abuse is hard to talk about but once I did the support from KCRASACC has been great, I am not ready to access other support like counselling yet but think I will at some time in the future I am scared to truly open up those floodgates.

"The helpline and website have been a godsend to me and my family have noticed a real difference in me, I haven't told them yet I am not ready to share this painful news."

To find out more about Kirklees and Calderdale Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre visit https://www.krasacc.co.uk/

If you are suffering abuse or know someone that may be, please report it to West Yorkshire Police either via 101 or online at https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/contact-us

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Pictured - back left - Mark Burns-Williamson PCC, Heather Cooper CEO, Left to right on the front row - Megan Coldrick - Independent Sexual Violence Adviser, Chenice Moses - Helpline and Business support, Charlotte Lawrence -Head of Counselling services, Imogen Stopps - Independent Sexual Violence Adviser and Jaswere Kaur Bruce- Independent Sexual Violence Adviser Manager.

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018