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Rape and sexual violence are devastating crimes and the Government is committed to ensuring that every victim has access to the specialist support they need. We expect every report of sexual violence and rape to be treated seriously from the time it is reported, every victim to be treated with dignity, and every investigation and prosecution to be conducted thoroughly and professionally.
We are deeply concerned by drops in criminal justice outcomes for rape cases, which is why we are conducting a thorough end-to-end review into the criminal justice response to rape. This review will inform a cross-system Action Plan which will seek to reverse this trend and we have committed to publish this later this year.
The Government is providing £32 million in funding until 2022. This includes £4 million for rape support centres, and £1 million for recruiting more Independent Sexual Violence Advisers. This additional funding forms part of a Rape Victims’ Pledge to make rape victims’ engagement with the criminal justice system simpler and less distressing through providing targeted information and support.
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) areas with Government-funded male support centres have nearly quadrupled from 11 in 2018/19 to 41 from 2019/20. This support is in addition to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) funded National Male Rape support helpline (Safeline) and Male Rape Support webchat service (Survivors UK). The Home Office provides specific funding to male victims of rape via Survivors Manchester through the £150,000 National Sexual Violence Support Fund.
MoJ have also provided £68 million to PCCs in 2019/20 to commission victim support services based on local need, including additional support for victims of sexual violence and abuse, which includes male victims.