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Victim Support Schemes

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent work her Department has undertaken with local authorities in the provision of victim support services. (272689)

[holding answer 6 May 2009]: Support for victims is primarily the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice although the Home Office continues to support some specialist services particularly for victims of violent crime.

For example, the Home Office has funded 28 Sexual Assault Referral Centres to provide support to victims of sexual violence and is supporting the national rollout of independent domestic violence advisers, and independent sexual violence advisers, ensuring that this support is available to all victims of these crimes.

The Ministry of Justice is working directly with local authorities to help them improve their response to human trafficking, strengthening the identification and support of victims.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent work her Department has undertaken with local authorities in the provision of rape crisis services. (272688)

[holding answer 6 May 2009]: The Government expect the majority of funding to the sexual violence voluntary sector to come from local sources as police and health budgets, and area based grants, are devolved to local decision makers who are best placed to assess local needs. However, the Government recognise the ongoing problems experienced by the sexual violence sector in respect of accessing local funding. Officials across Government are working to develop a long-term funding strategy based on research currently under way, and on recommendations made by the Home Office’s Stakeholder Advisory Group on Sexual Violence and Abuse Funding Sub-group.

In order to support services in the short-term, the Minister for Women and Equality announced on 19 March 2009, a £1.6 million special fund to keep open much-needed services by providing grants to specialist sexual violence voluntary organisations.