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Rape and Sexual Abuse Victims

Volume 672: debated on Tuesday 25 February 2020

15. What steps his Department is taking to support victims of (a) rape and (b) sexual abuse through the criminal justice system. (900825)

The Government are committed to ensuring victims of rape and sexual violence have access to high-quality support services to help them cope and, as far as possible, recover from the effects of this devastating crime. From April, we will be increasing funding to rape support services by 50% to £12 million and investing an additional £1 million for independent sexual violence advisers annually until 2022.

My constituent Dominique Martin has suffered the horror of being a rape victim twice in her life. Dominique described her ordeal to me as “like being murdered, except you are left alive.” What is more, Dominique has had to wait 18 months and counting to see the local mental health team. Will the Minister meet me to discuss the issues Dominique has raised to ensure nobody else has to suffer in the same way?

It is obviously very distressing to hear about this particular case, and I am very sorry for the experience of my hon. Friend’s constituent. I am, of course, more than happy to meet her to discuss these matters. As the 2018 victims strategy has an ambition to join up services across Government and, indeed, with the third sector, I will endeavour to make sure a Health Minister is there as well.