Police handed £1million to help sexual abuse victims

Victims of Domestic abuse are able to leave their homes to escape danger and find a place of safety.

Avon and Somerset Police will hire 31 officers in new roles designed to help victims of domestic and sexual abuse. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Avon and Somerset Police have confirmed more than £1million worth of funding has been granted to offer more support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in North Somerset.

The Ministry of Justice provided the funds which the police service will use to hire 23 independent domestic violence advisors (IDVAs) and eight independent sexual violence advisors (ISVAs).

These new roles will work alongside councils and victim services commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to improve the practical and emotion support available.

Mark Shelford

PCC Mark Shelford believes the extra funding will make a 'significant difference to services'. - Credit: Mark Shelford

Recently elected, PCC Mark Shelford said: “This additional funding will make a significant difference to services and staff on the ground who continue to face an overwhelming amount of work as we come out of the pandemic and, most crucially, will help more victims and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse cope and recover."

The IDVAs and ISVAs will be specialist roles, trained to deal with various demographics and issues such as Black and Minority Ethnic victims, victims in rural communities, victims of economic abuse, LGBT+ victims and more.