Norfolk domestic abuse charities receive funding boost

There is a fear that domestic and sexual abuse victims have been under-reporting abuse during lockdo

There is a fear that domestic and sexual abuse victims have been under-reporting abuse during lockdown. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

More than £600,000 is to be invested in supporting people in Norfolk who have been affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The Ministry of Justice funding has come to Norfolk through the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN).

A total of £620,983, will be split between a number of organisations with a particular focus on supporting children and older people.

Of the lump sum, £171,412, topped up with an extra £25,796 from the PCC's own budget, will go to the domestic abuse charities, Leeway and The Daisy Programme and Fresh Start New Beginnings, which supports children and young people who have sexually abused.

Norfolk's new police and crime commissioner, Giles Orpen-Smellie 

Norfolk's new police and crime commissioner, Giles Orpen-Smellie - Credit: Archant

The money will be used to help pay for specialist support workers and services for children and young people.

A further £345,371 will be split between The Daisy Programme, Leeway and West-Norfolk based domestic abuse charity the Pandora Project to boost Norfolk's response to domestic abuse.

And, £104,200 will be used to continue supporting the Harbour Centre, Norfolk's Sexual Abuse Referral Centre (SARC) with a special focus on 'hard to reach' victims. 

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So-called hard to reach or 'hidden victims of abuse' may include those from ethnic minority groups, people who have a disability, or members of the LGBT+ community.

Across the organisations, the funding will be used to help pay for highly-trained support workers, including Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) specialising in supporting the elderly and those with disabilities and/or complex needs.

IDVAs play a vital role in the county's response to tackling domestic abuse. Using specialist skills and expertise, they work closely with victims to assess risk and develop safety plans, offer emotional and practical support and help guide victims through the criminal justice system.

Giles Orpen-Smellie, Norfolk's PCC said: "This extra funding will provide a great boost to our local services and the tailored support they can offer to victims of crime.

"As PCC, I am committed to putting victims first. I will do everything I can to support Norfolk's victim support services to cope with demand and respond to the needs of victims so that, regardless of their age, gender or background, those affected by crime get the right support."