GREATER Manchester has been awarded further funding to commission independent advisors who will support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has awarded Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) £1,170,000 for additional Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (IDSA). Both roles work independently from the police, with a number of charities and organisations being commissioned by GMCA to recruit an additional nine advisors. The money will also help fund the continuation of already existing posts.

The purpose of a Domestic Violence Advisor is to address the safety of victims at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners, or family members to secure their safety and the safety of their children. An Independent Sexual Violence Advisor works to provide emotional and practical support for anyone who has experienced current or historic rape, sexual abuse or assault. If someone has reported a sexual offence to the police, an advisor can also offer support and advice on the Criminal Justice System.

More than 18 advisors will be working across the city-region, with the funding in place for three years. There will also be advisors who specialise in working with LGBT victims, children and young people, as well as victims of stalking and harassment.

The MoJ has also granted GMCA more than £730k to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, as well as prevent crimes from happening. Funding will be awarded to a number of charities and organisations to develop witness centres, increase the diversity of support on offer in the city-region as well as increase therapeutic support for victims.

Bev Hughes, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, said: “This is a substantial amount of funding which will ensure some of the most vulnerable victims in Greater Manchester are given the support they need.

“Improving support for vulnerable and marginalised people is an issue we’re passionate about in Greater Manchester and we are committed to transforming victims’ services to ensure every victim of crime has access to the right support, regardless of whether they make the decision to report a crime to police.

“The additional funding to develop witness centres and therapeutic support for victims will also help to improve the provision on offer to victims, as well as help our work to tackle Gender Based Violence and abuse in all its forms.”

Gill Smallwood, Chief Executive for Fortalice, said: “This funding is welcomed and will help us to provide a much-needed service for victims who have suffered sexual abuse within their relationships.

“We now have more victims coming forwards and feedback from victims who have used the service is that they have often never been able to talk about the trauma of the abuse they have suffered. Having a specialist ISVA in the service will help so many people to overcome their horrendous experiences.”

Phil East, Chief Executive of Salford Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this additional funding. With high demand for services in our children and young people’s team, this funding will enable us to reduce waiting lists and provide support to more young people, helping them to live safer lives.”

The following organisations will receive funding to recruit new domestic violence and sexual violence advisors:

  • Victim Support Rochdale
  • Oldham Council
  • SafeNet
  • Trafford Domestic Abuse Service (TDAS)
  • Endeavour
  • Salford Foundation (Safe in Salford Partnership)
  • Stockport without Abuse
  • LGBT Foundation
  • Migdal Emunah

The following local authorities and organisations have also received funding to continue funding advisors for another three years:

  • Oldham Council
  • Rochdale Council
  • Salford Council
  • Stockport Council
  • Tameside Council
  • Trafford Council
  • Wigan Council
  • Manchester Women’s Aid
  • St Mary’s SARC
  • Migdal Emunah
  • GM Rape Crisis
  • Survivors Manchester
  • SARC

A number of support services are available for victims in Greater Manchester. Greater Manchester Victim Support can be reached on 0300 303 0162.The local victim care team in Greater Manchester lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am-7pm and Saturday 9am-5pm.

Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support via live chat and find details of a range of support services at www.gmvictims.org.uk.  The out of hours support line can be reached on 0808 1689 111.


Article Published: 02/09/2022 15:26 PM