Sexual Offences: Criminal Proceedings

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 16th March 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that victims of rape, sexual abuse and sexual assault in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England receive support from an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor to help them navigate the criminal justice system.

Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the (a) provision of and (b) access to (i) rape and sexual abuse and (ii) domestic violence support services in (A) Coventry, (B) the West Midlands and (C) England.

Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the (a) provision of and (b) access to (i) rape and sexual abuse and (ii) domestic violence support services in (A) Coventry, (B) the West Midlands and (C) England.

Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what fiscal steps he is taking to support rape and sexual abuse support services in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England.

Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what fiscal steps he is taking to support rape and sexual abuse support services in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England.

Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the average waiting times for rape and sexual assault victims to access rape and sexual abuse support services in Coventry; and what (a) fiscal and (b) other steps he is taking to reduce waiting times for those services in Coventry.

Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the average waiting times for rape and sexual assault victims to access rape and sexual abuse support services in Coventry; and what (a) fiscal and (b) other steps he is taking to reduce waiting times for those services in Coventry.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department

Supporting victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse is an absolute priority for this Government. All survivors are entitled to support to help them cope and recover from their experiences.

The Ministry of Justice is only one of many funding sources for rape support services. The Ministry of Justice provide funding to 91 rape support services across England and Wales to provide independent, specialist support to female and male victims of sexual violence, including victims of child sexual abuse.

In 2020/21 rape support services received £12m (an uplift of 50% per funded centre from 2019/20) in recognition of the extra demand placed upon them and to reduce waiting lists. This is part of the £32m provided to these services for 2019/2022.

£871,054 has been provided in 2020/21 by the Ministry of Justice to four rape support services in West Midlands (Black Country Women’s Aid, Birmingham Rape & Sexual Violence Project, Coventry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre and Freedom of Torture) including an extra £269,614 provided during the pandemic. For 2019/22 these four centres will receive £2,060,770 in total.

This is in addition to the £4,485,802 provided to the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner as part of £68m allocated in 2020/21 to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across England & Wales, to locally commission emotional and practical support services for victims of crime, including victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse.

In response to the pandemic the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner was provided with £911,066 in 2020/21 to support local sexual violence and domestic abuse services.

This provided funding to 14 local domestic abuse and 3 sexual violence support services across the West Midlands. This included 3 services in Coventry.

In recognition of increased demand, we have extended the rape and sexual abuse fund for a further year (end March 2023) to provide the sector with greater stability and continue to work closely with them to monitor demand.

Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) have an important role to play in helping victims feel informed and supported at every stage of their recovery journey and provide an important link between police, support services and criminal justice agencies. As part of their role ISVAs may also support victims when attending court and giving evidence. In 2020/21, £3,709,253 has been invested by the Ministry of Justice for the recruitment of 123 additional ISVAs across England and Wales. Of this, £165,561 was allocated to West Midlands to recruit an additional 7 ISVAs.

In recognition of the extra demand paced on services the Ministry of Justice also announced in February an extra £40m in 2021/22 to support victims:

  • £20.7 million for local, community-based sexual violence and domestic abuse services, helping to reduce the amount of time survivors have to wait for support. Male specific services will see a 60% funding increase following a significant increase in demand for support from men and boys.
  • £16 million to recruit more independent sexual violence and domestic abuse advisers – increasing their numbers by around 400 meaning more victims of all ages can access this vital support.
  • £2 million for smaller specialist organisations helping BAME, LGBTQ+ or disabled victims.
  • £1.3 million for remote and online services – allowing more victims to access support while at home. £800k of this will go to Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors (FLOWS), a digital tool that helps victims of domestic abuse to apply for emergency protection from the courts.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.