Offences against Children: Victim Support Schemes

Home Office written question – answered on 22nd July 2020.

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Photo of Jonathan Gullis Jonathan Gullis Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent North

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that children who have been sexually abused have access to high quality, timely, specialist support provided by (a) Barnardo’s and (b) other sector specialist organisations.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

We are determined that all children who experience sexual abuse can access the support they need, and we have significantly increased funding to specialist organisations across the country which help victims and survivors of child sexual abuse cope with and, as far as possible, recover from the abuse they have suffered.

For example, the Home Office and Ministry of Justice have recently doubled the funding (£2.4m over the next two years) available for specialist voluntary sector organisations providing support to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse at a national level. We have also launched a new £2.8m transformation fund to promote and embed best practice in support to children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse. This year the Ministry of Justice has also increased the funding available to rape support centres across England and Wales by 50%, from £8 million to £12 million per annum, to provide much needed support to victims of sexual violence and abuse, including child sexual abuse.

Alongside this support, we are also funding a new £7m ‘See, Hear, Respond’ service led by Barnardo’s for vulnerable children, young people and their families. The service will support children who are at risk of harm, including sexual abuse, and who not are currently receiving support from statutory agencies. The service will develop a dynamic sector response that intervenes, supports and safeguards these children early, preventing long lasting harm to them and their families.

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