Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire | WYPCC

Support services for victims of sexual abuse and violence bolstered with the appointment of three specialist workers

2nd September 2020

Support services for victims of sexual abuse and violence bolstered with the appointment of three specialist workers

Victims of sexual abuse and violence will now be receiving more support with the appointment of three Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs).

The ISVAs will work within two current organisations providing victim support, the West Yorks ISVA Service provided by Victim Support and Kirklees and Calderdale Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (KCRASAC).

The new ISVAs will mean that:

  • The Wakefield District will have access to rape crisis services for the first time.
  • More outreach work will be done with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
  • Services for male victims of all ages will be developed further, including Gay, Bisexual and Trans victims and survivors.

All of the roles are being funded by just over £230,000 over two years through the Police and Crime Commissioners office with Ministry of Justice (MoJ) support until the end of March 2022.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson said: “I am really pleased we have been able to secure this much needed funding for three additional ISVAs which will mean more support for victims and survivors of both recent and historic cases, including dedicated support to take cases through the Criminal Justice system, gaining better outcomes and ensuring victims are supported through what can be quite a harrowing and painful process for them.

“Both West Yorkshire Victim Support and KCRASACC work across district boundaries, working with both females and males and also share a commitment to working with children and young people, and I feel more reassured that our most vulnerable will be further supported with these additional resources.

“I have said in my Victim’s Strategy that we need make sure victims and survivors get the right support at the right time, and these appointments, along with the opening of our new Sexual Assault and Referral Centre (SARC) this Summer means another big step forward in our support for vulnerable individuals who need it.”

The additional funding is helping the PCC and the organisations involved develop closer collaboration between them to ensure that the very best use is made of the resources available.

Lesley McLean, Victim Support Contracts Manager for West Yorkshire, said: “These additional ISVAs will ensure Victim Support services can continue to develop and improve access to sexual violence services. We continue to be committed to providing support to both female and male victims across the whole of West Yorkshire. The new posts will see the development of a male peer support group across WY alongside further outreach development and improved access for anyone identifying as being from BAME communities.”

Heather Cooper, the chief executive of KCRASAC, said: “We are pleased to announce that with the PCC funding, in August, KCRASAC employed a BAME ISVA. This enabled KCRASAC to begin delivering ISVA services across Wakefield, whist working in partnership with our colleagues at Victim Support.

“Our ISVA teams are working together to raise awareness of the ISVA role in Wakefield, so that victims and survivors of sexual violence can get the support they need”.

For more information on Victim Support in West Yorkshire visit https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/help-and-support/get-help/support-near-you/yorkshire-and-humber/west-yorkshire or call 0300 303 1971.

For more information on Kirklees and Calderdale Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (KCRASAC) visit https://www.kcrasac.co.uk or call 07903 633909.