Extra cash for victims of rape and sexual abuse welcomed

An increase in cash to help more victims of rape and sexual abuse has been welcomed by councillors and a leading Wirral campaigner.

More than 150,000 sexual offences were recorded by police last year with 1 in 5 women having experienced some type of sexual assault in their lifetime and a 200 per cent increase in the number of men and boys accessing support.

The additional funding – now totalling £24 million over the next 3 years – will go towards vital services providing advice, support and counselling to help victims cope with and, as far as possible, recover from these devastating crimes.

Former police officer and Moreton & Saughall Massie Councillor Steve Williams said: “Victims of rape and sexual abuse – male and female – need specialist support.  The organisations that provide that support need security of funding in order to be able to plan and provide that help.”

As well as the extra cash, dedicated support organisations will now benefit from longer-term funding with government extending the funding period from 1 to 3 years.

Jo Wood MBE, of Wirral-based RASA said: “RASA is greatly relieved that this funding is to continue to be available and that it remains under central government control.

This forms a vital part of our annual income and having the stability of a three year commission will allow us to plan our services more effectively.

“Combined with our long term contracts with Merseyside’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Wirral Borough Council, Children in Need and more, it will ensure that RASA continues to deliver a professional ageless, genderless service for survivors of all forms of sexual violence for the foreseeable future”