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Nearly half a million pounds* has been secured by the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner to support victims of sexual and domestic violence.

The successful bid to the Ministry of Justice will fund four additional ISVAs (Independent Sexual Violence Advocates) and IDVAs (Independent Domestic Violence Advisors) working with West Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC) and West Mercia Women’s Aid.

The advocates and advisors will specialise in working with;

  • Children and young people identified as having additional needs, who are affected by sexual violence.
  • Children and young people whose abuse has been facilitated through technology.
  • Men and boys who are affected by domestic abuse.
  • Vulnerable children and young people who are affected by domestic abuse.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said “The needs of Victims will always be at the heart of my Safer West Mercia Plan.  These are some of the most serious crimes with long lasting impacts on those affected. I will continue to strive to make sure those affected get the right support at the right time. By securing this investment I am continuing to put victims first and ensure they get specialist, tailored support.”

Jocelyn Anderson CEO of WMRSASC said: ‘Demand for our services continues to grow, these two new posts will allow us to support more children and young people who have experienced sexual violence or abuse. 

These specialist posts will ensure that we can adapt our support to meet a child’s individual additional needs, this might be ensuring accessible locations, adapted resources and/or more parental support. 

Technology facilitated abuse is a developing and ever changing form of harassment and abuse that children and young people are facing on a daily basis, it is important that children understand how easily grooming and abuse can happen and this role will provide both education and support.”

Sue Coleman, CEO of West Mercia Women’s Aid said “West Mercia Women’s Aid’s Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) provide tailored support to any and all who are referred to our service as at high risk of harm from domestic abuse, and these 2 new posts bring the total number of IDVAs in the West Mercia IDVA Service to 20 overall.  This additional funding will enable us to enhance our capacity to provide that support to men and boys. More intensive support can also now be offered to young people who have experience of living with domestic abuse at home, or in their own intimate partner relationships.”

*£486,205 has been secured over the next 3 years up to 31st March 2025.