IN partnership with the Ministry of Justice, Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael is pleased to announce that £635,150 has been allocated to twelve specialist services across South Wales to help support victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a result of the current crisis, isolation has made matters worse for some of those living with domestic violence and abuse, making it more important than ever for victims and survivors to be able to get the support they need, when they need it.
These organisations have moved swiftly to adapt their provision during the pandemic and ensure their ability to cope with the increase in demand. The additional funding endeavours to recognise these efforts and help to maintain support for victims and survivors over the longer term.
The application process opened on 20th May 2020, with submissions received and assessed by a specialist panel consisting of key representatives of the Commissioner Team:
· Paula Hardy (Strategic Lead – Vulnerability & Victims)
· Peter Curran (Chief Finance Officer)
· Mark Brace (Director of Strategy & Programmes)
· Joanna Markham (Commissioning Grants and Funding Officer)
The twelve successful specialist service providers were chosen by the panel following careful scrutiny and deliberation of all applications; they will now receive a share of the funding which will contribute towards the delivery of services from 24th March to 31st October 2020.
The funding allocation was part of an overall £25 million Covid-19 Extraordinary Funding package to from the Home Office to help charities across England & Wales support vulnerable people, including victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse, during the crisis.
South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Alun Michael said:
“Protecting vulnerable people is the number one priority for me and for Chief Constable Matt Jukes. From the start of the Covid-19 crisis, we have put significant effort into work with our partners to support victims of abuse and raise awareness of the heightened risks they face.
“The need to stay at home can make matters much worse for those living with domestic violence and abuse, with a risk of serious harm, increased control, further violence, or other forms of abuse. There is no doubt, that the current situation may also make it even more difficult for a survivor to leave the perpetrator.
“For these reasons it is now more important than ever for victims and survivors to know beyond doubt that they are not alone and that help is available to them. I have been extremely impressed with how our partners across South Wales have adapted in particularly difficult circumstances, working tirelessly to maintain service provision and in some instances actually enhancing the level of support available.
“I am delighted to be able to allocate over six hundred thousand pounds to support this absolutely vital work during an unprecedented time.”
Paula Hardy, the Strategic Lead – Vulnerability & Victims for the Commissioner added:
“The Covid-19 crisis has been particularly difficult for those experiencing violence and abuse, so it has been really important to ensure that support is available to victims and survivors and that they know they’re not alone.
“There has been a real collective effort here in South Wales to react together to the impacts of the crisis, to raise awareness across communities around the issue of violence and abuse and to highlight the availability of support, including to perpetrators, who remain responsible for their behaviour.
“I am really pleased that, in partnership with the Ministry of Justice, we are able to allocate £635,150 to a range of organisations in South Wales, both large and small, as they continue vital work to adapt their services and support victims at a critical time.”
The support services to be allocated funding within South Wales were:
· Safer Wales
· Cardiff Women’s Aid
· Welsh Women’s Aid
· Safer Merthyr Tydfil
· Victim Support (South Wales Victim Focus)
· Atal Y Fro
· Calan DVS
· Women’s Aid RCT
· Thrive Women’s Aid
· New Pathways