The government has announced more funding for rape victims in Yorkshire

0
Have your say

Survivors of rape and sexual assault in Yorkshire will be given more money for counselling and support, the Ministry of Justice has revealed.

More than £2.2m has been announced for ten rape support centres across the region over the next two years, meaning victims will have more access to advice, support and counselling.

Victims of rape and sexual assault and abuse in Yorkshire will benefit from a 50% surge in funding over the next two years, the Ministry of Justice has announced. Picture: Shutterstock

Victims of rape and sexual assault and abuse in Yorkshire will benefit from a 50% surge in funding over the next two years, the Ministry of Justice has announced. Picture: Shutterstock

Centres in Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, York and Doncaster are among those which will benefit.

The figure is a £370,000 increase on the £1.1m it receives a year.

Last year, more than 14,000 rapes were reported to Yorkshire's four police forces, while recent figures published by the Crown Prosecution Service show a drop in the number of charges and convictions for sex crimes.

The £2.2m announced on Friday is part of a wider boost of funds available for victims in England and Wales.

Victims of rape and sexual assault and abuse in Yorkshire will benefit from a 50% surge in funding over the next two years, the Ministry of Justice has announced. Picture: Shutterstock

Victims of rape and sexual assault and abuse in Yorkshire will benefit from a 50% surge in funding over the next two years, the Ministry of Justice has announced. Picture: Shutterstock

A total of £32m will be spent up to 2022 to supplement services providing helplines, counselling and advice.

Other services in Yorkshire to receive extra funding are those in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Kirklees.

Leeds-based Basis Yorkshire, which supports women who have turned to sex work, will also receive cash, as will the Womens Counselling and Therapy Service.

The cash boost was welcomed by the various organisations, although it was added that there was still "more to do".

Leeds-based Basis Yorkshire is one of the charities to benefit from the increase in funding for victims of sexual violence. Pictured are Taylor Austin-Little (left) and Jo Hall.

Leeds-based Basis Yorkshire is one of the charities to benefit from the increase in funding for victims of sexual violence. Pictured are Taylor Austin-Little (left) and Jo Hall.

Janina Pirozek, who is Chair of Survive, in York, said: "Survive is grateful to the Ministry of Justice for providing funding for many years which has enabled us to provide essential support to female and male adult survivors of rape and sexual abuse.

"We see around 500 clients annually, a figure which is growing year on year, but we also have a waiting list.

"That means people who contact us may have to wait some months before accessing the full range of our services, in particular the counselling support which is so crucial in enabling many survivors to build a positive future."

Currently, victims who report rape are unable to discuss their attack with counsellors until their case is fully dealt with by the courts, or dropped, to avoid prejudicing a potential trial.

SARSVL (Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds) will also benefit from the increase in funding announced by the Ministry of Justice on Friday

SARSVL (Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds) will also benefit from the increase in funding announced by the Ministry of Justice on Friday

Ms Pirozek continued: "While funding for clients who are referred to us through the courts system is provided automatically, those very many who self-refer receive no such support."

Rape Crisis England & Wales currently predicts that only around 20 per cent of men and women who are raped report the attack.

This figure has risen from around 15 per cent in recent years in the wake of the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal, meaning services such as Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL) are seeing an increase in demand.

This funding increase is the second time extra money has been announced for the national Rape Support Fund, which from April will be brought up to £12m per year.

It means that services like SARSVL and Survive will be given more stability and security so they can focus on clients.

Victims Minister Wendy Morton MP said: “Rape and sexual violence are devastating crimes and these centres across Yorkshire provide vital services that can help rebuild and transform lives.

Doncaster Rape and Sexual Assault Counselling Service, which is one of the services to benefit from increased government funding

Doncaster Rape and Sexual Assault Counselling Service, which is one of the services to benefit from increased government funding

“That is why we’ve increased funding twice in the space of a year to ensure no victim is left to suffer alone.

“We know there is more to do, but through the Government’s Victims’ Strategy we are continuing to improve the support on offer at every stage of the justice system.”