Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright is publicly supporting four bids into a £5 million fund to support victims of sexual abuse.
The bids have been submitted by Cambridge Rape Crisis Group, Choices Counselling, Peterborough Rape Crisis Care Group and a national charity based in Huntingdon called START (Survivors Trauma and Abuse Recovery Trust). Each charity proposes a range of specialist counselling services to support victims to cope and recover from their traumatic experiences. If successful, these bids would support the increase in demand due to the recent announcement of the Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse which is due to start this year.
The aim of these bids is to further fund the support victims of sexual abuse receive by increasing the capacity of each charity in providing counselling to victims of child and adult abuse across the region. The funding would also create an additional 1,600 sessions of counselling to adult victims of child sexual abuse.
Counselling and integrated victim care has been shown to have a major improvement for victims. An example of the benefits of this sort of support is highlighted by the following quote: “Counselling has played a huge part in my recovery. My life has improved greatly. I can make better decisions for myself. Although I still suffer occasionally with flashbacks, I recover from them quickly and my ‘meltdowns’ don’t leave me feeling suicidal. I am forever grateful I was given an opportunity for counselling. Every aspect of my life has changed in a positive way.” Commenting on the bids, Sir Graham said: “In Cambridgeshire we have opted out of national Victim Support services and created a police-led local Victims’ Hub. Victim Care Co-ordinators assess victims of crime to determine the level of support they need and then help them in the most appropriate way, bringing in specialist services, as required. I will be ensuring that staff are aware of the specialist services offered by the local charities as part of a fully integrated package of support for victims in Cambridgeshire.”