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Sexual Assault (Support Services)

Volume 404: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the Home Office budget for rape counselling and support services was in financial year 2002–03. [110719]

At present the Home Office does not directly fund rape counselling services. During the financial year 2002–03, the Department paid a grant of £302,000 to the Rape Crisis Federation (RCF), an umbrella body for a network of some 40 local rape crisis centres in England and Wales. This grant enabled the Federation to provide a range of support services to its member groups, but was not intended to provide direct services to rape victims.The Department's main programme for providing support services to victims of crime, including victims of rape and sexual assault, is through its grant in aid to the organisation Victim Support. Total Home Office funding to Victim Support during 2002–03 was £29.3 million. It is not possible to put a precise figure on how much of this funding was spent on services to victims of rape and sexual assault.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Home Office will publish the comparative study of sexual assault referral centres carried out by London Metropolitan University. [110721]

As part of the work conducted under the Crime Reduction Programme Violence against Women Initiative, the Home Office commissioned Professor Liz Kelly from London Metropolitan University to evaluate the contribution of three established Sexual Assault Referral Centres towards supporting victims of rape and sexual assault and reducing attrition in the criminal justice system. An overview of the research is due to be published in the autumn of 2003.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the Home Office's preferred model is for rape counselling and support services. [110726]

The Home Office does not currently have a 'preferred model' for the provision of rape counselling and support services.This objective may be achieved through the use of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs); rape crisis and other counselling and support services; national or local telephone helplines; or some combination of these.