PCC funds project to help stop child sexual abuse

Published January 16, 2015 by JS2

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GRANT: Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston; Juliet Grayson, chair of StopSO UK; and Paul Harris, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent

AN organisation which helps prevent sexual abuse to children is using a grant to offer psychological therapy for sex offenders and their family members.

The Specialist Treatment Organisation for the Prevention of Sexual Offending (StopSO) was awarded a grant of £5,500 in September last year from Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Ian Johnston’s Partnership Fund.

A not-for-profit organisation, StopSO are using the award to offer subsidised psychological therapy.

As part of this support, StopSO will train therapists and mental health professionals in Gwent and South Wales. A series of reduced cost courses are being run in February and March that will give them the tools to work with this client group.

Juliet Grayson, chair of the group, said: “Our work supports the new strategy being implemented by police forces and CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) which advocates engaging mental health service providers to provide psychological help for child sexual offenders to stop them abusing children.

“Up to 80 per cent of sexual abuse is perpetrated by members of the close or extended family, and research shows that with the right kind of psychological interventions, the reoffending rate can be as low as 4.6 per cent.

“This approach helps us to break the cycle of abuse and will help to keep children in Gwent safe.”

The last round of the Commissioner’s Partnership Fund was made available in May 2014 for charities, voluntary organisations, and community groups in Gwent involved in activities that have a positive impact on their communities.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Ian Johnston, said: “My role goes beyond policing and since being elected into office, I have focussed strongly on working with numerous partners in the community such as StopSO on tackling crime and its root causes.

“Projects such as this one, which have rehabilitative qualities at their core, play a vital role in supporting offenders to break free from the cycle of reoffending.

“Every penny invested in interventions saves money in tackling crime overall and these partnerships and initiatives, which I fund and support assist me in developing approaches which ensure people in Gwent are less affected by crime.”

 The first training course that is set to take place on February 21 at Monmouth Priory. For more information, call StopSO on 0753 367 5351 or email info@stopso.org.uk.
South Wales Argus
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