Government provides funding for victims of sexual violence
Victims of rape and sexual violence will be better supported following a £26 million investment in specialist services across England and Wales.
In a press release on 3 August, the Ministry of Justice announced that the funding will be awarded to over 60 specialist support services over the next two years.
The press release said:
The Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Fund (RASASF), initially launched in 2011, is part of the government’s commitment to quadruple funding for victim support services by 2025 compared to 2010.
Innovative projects set to be funded for the next 2 years as a direct result of today’s cash boost include:
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Alex Chalk KC, said:
“I am pleased that all three 2021 Rape Review ambitions have been met so far ahead of schedule. There is more work to do, but this milestone demonstrates real progress in strengthening justice for victims of these appalling crimes.
“This continued funding means we can continue our work to ensure victims of sexual abuse across England and Wales receive the support that is so vital to recovery.”
The fund was informed by rape victims to better understand their experiences and what they want from support services, helping to inform the commissioning of future support for victims.
The funding comes as CPS data published [on 3 August] shows charges for adult rape-flagged cases increased to 567 in the latest quarter, (January – March 2023), 5% over the 2016 quarterly average and Rape Review ambition of 538. This means the Government has already met all 3 key ambitions in the Rape Review ahead of schedule – restoring the number of police referrals, CPS charges and cases reaching court to 2016 levels.
In July, all 43 police forces across England and Wales, and all rape prosecutors across the country, began implementing a new approach to dealing with rape and other serious sexual offences, ensuring forces conduct thorough investigations which put the focus on the suspect and centre the rights and needs of victims.
This new approach, developed through Operation Soteria and previously piloted in 19 police forces and 9 Crown Prosecution Service Areas, uses academic evidence and insight to enable forces and prosecutors to transform their response to rape and serious sexual offences.