PCC Angus Macpherson has been allocated an extra £244,000 to distribute to organisations who support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in Wiltshire and Swindon.
While cases have not yet seen large increases in the county since the lockdown began, it is expected that more victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence will come forward as restrictions on movement are eased.
The emergency funding is to cover the period from 24 March to 31 October 2020, to meet the additional costs registered charities or social enterprises have incurred or will incur whilst adapting their services during the pandemic, and to cope with demand increases resulting from it.
Charities and other eligible groups are now being encouraged to bid into this pot of money, by visiting the PCCs website and completing the application form.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: “Additional funding to address Domestic abuse and Sexual Violence of £244k from the Ministry Of Justice is very welcome.
“This will supplement funding to those organisations which my office already support and, importantly, more organisations to be supported in their valuable work.
“When the lock down was announced, an increase in domestic abuse and sexual violence was to be expected. Many victims find it difficult to report, often because of a controlling relationship and often because victims do not have faith in the system.
“We have worked hard over the past eight years to address these issues, and in the current climate new initiatives are needed to encourage reporting and give victims confidence in the subsequent support and response they will receive from the police, local authorities and organisations providing specialist support.”
The PCC’s £244,000 will be divided among three types of support services:
- Domestic abuse services the PCC already commissions: £122,000
- Domestic abuse services not currently commissioned by the PCC: £61,000
- Sexual violence services, whether already commissioned by the PCC or not: £61,000
OPCC Victims and Vulnerability Commissioning Manager, Maria Milton said “This funding announcement is very welcome, helping to provide additional support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence at this time.
“Covid-19 has had a significant effect on all victims, and charities and organisations across the county have worked to ensure help and support are available.
“This funding offers support to local charities and organisations providing help, and will enable greater reach for those who need it.
“I would encourage as many eligible groups as possible to visit the PCC’s website and make an application.”
For more information, or to make an application for funding, visit the OPCC website.
Eligible organisations are being urged not to delay applying for the funding, as there is a short window of opportunity for bids to be received. The deadline for applications is 4pm on Monday 1 June 2020.