Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire | WYPCC

Nearly half a million pounds to support victims of domestic and sexual abuse

20th June 2020

Nearly half a million pounds of additional funding is to be quickly distributed by West Yorkshire PCC to support local charities and organisations supporting victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

The £25m extraordinary Covid19 funding via the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) will be distributed through two separate funds, one through Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and one through the national Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Fund.

On top of this, PCCs across the country have been given an extra £3million to specifically fund Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) until 2022.

Here in West Yorkshire, £495,640 has been granted and it has now been distributed by the PCC across 16 different local organisations and charities to support ongoing projects and new initiatives helping to address domestic abuse and sexual violence.

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “Coronavirus has forced us all to work in very different ways and this funding has presented a valuable opportunity to ensure we are making the most of resources accessible to those that need them the most.

“I am really pleased that we have been able to offer grants to a variety of different organisations across the region to offer vital support and advice to victims of domestic and sexual abuse. It’s been a real challenge to turn this around so quickly, but thanks to the staff at the Office of PCC (OPCC) and all our partner organisations in receipt of this funding we have been able to move quickly and achieve it.

“One of my main priorities as PCC is to ensure vulnerable people and victims of crime have the ongoing support of the police and access to vital services they need through this ongoing pandemic and beyond.

“Just last week, with my office and key partners I launched a new state-of-the-art facility, the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) here in West Yorkshire, which is now fully operational and will help transform and improve the experience of vulnerable victims and witnesses by having all dedicated and accessible specialist services under one roof, which is very timely to link in with this extra funding announcement.”

Chief Executive of the Shantona Women’s and Family Centre, Nahid Rasool said: “As a small organisation we always deliver high quality services, with the resources available to us. However, when COVID 19 hit, we were aware of the unique challenges our community would face. Whilst continuing to reach out to our most vulnerable communities, we realised we are not equipped with adequate technologies for staff to work from home, creating innovative ways to reach further and support our service users. This grant of £13,244 will help us build the organisation capacity and response quickly.”

Development Manager of JAMES Anna Shepherd said: “Thank you so much to the PCC for this grant of £25,659; it will truly make a difference, enabling JAMES to continue to provide a lifeline for those most in need. Our staff have been out supporting families and young people throughout this crisis, where we see first-hand the increased needs of some of the most vulnerable. We feel this is a critical time, in identifying hidden harm, offering support to victims and providing progression pathways to our most vulnerable.”

Chief Executive of Staying Put, Yasmin Khan said: "We are delighted and relieved to have secured £48,000 from the MOJ Covid-19 extraordinary fund, to support survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. This grant is lifeline for us, assisting us to recover some of the additional costs incurred during Covid-19 pandemic.”

The projects who have received funding include:

  • Behind Closed Doors
  • Staying Put
  • Leeds Women’s Aid
  • Leeds Women’s Aid – Leeds Domestic Violence Service
  • Women’s Health Matters
  • Kirklees and Calderdale Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (KCRASAC)
  • JAMES (Joint Activities and Motor Education Service)
  • Shantona Women’s and Family Centre
  • Anah Project
  • Survivors West Yorkshire
  • Karma Nirvana
  • Victim Support
  • Bradford Rape Crisis
  • Yorkshire Children’s Centre
  • WomenCentre Limited
  • Support after Rape and Sexual Violence (SARSVL)

Further information on the projects can be found here https://www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/commissioning/covid-19-extraordinary-moj-funding-domestic-abuse-and-sexual-violence-support-services-24-march-2020-31-october-2020