Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner is to distribute nearly £5m of national funding to support victims of sexual abuse.
Stephen Bett will oversee two new funds established by the Home Office to support victims of child and adult sexual abuse across England and Wales.
The Child Abuse Inquiry Support Fund, worth £2m, has been established to support non-statutory organisations in England and Wales which have experienced an increase in demand as a direct result of the announcement of the Child Abuse Inquiry on 7 July.
The Child and Adult Victims of Sexual Abuse Support Fund, worth £2.85m, has been established for non-statutory organisations in England and Wales providing support to victims of sexual abuse to help meet the increased demand on those services.
Organisations will be able to bid for grants from the fund from today (Monday 2 February).
Stephen said: “Sexual abuse, in all its horrific forms, is a crime that leaves its victims with a legacy of distress and anguish. Having spoken to people who have suffered sexual abuse I know that the mental and emotional scars can take years to heal, if indeed they ever do.
“As a victims’ champion I know how crucial it is that those who have suffered are able to access the support they need – whether it be immediately or, in some cases, years later. I am pleased to be able to invite bids for grants from these two substantial funds and I am sure this money will make a genuine difference.”
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk has been chosen to support the Home Office by administering this fund as the Chief Constable for Norfolk holds the national policing portfolio for Child Protection and Abuse Investigation and due to the commitment of the PCC to supporting victims of sexual abuse, as evidenced through his Police and Crime Plan..
Stephen added: “Norfolk’s Chief Constable Simon Bailey is the national policing lead in this area and he will be one of a number of recognised experts who will play a key role in assessing and scrutinising bids.”
All bids to both funds will be subject to a robust and thorough assessment against a published set of criteria. Bids will be subject to assessment by a panel against the criteria before being considered by a senior oversight board, chaired by Mr Bett. This board will ultimately decide which bids should receive funding.
All non-statutory organisations that meet the requirements of the criteria for either of fund are eligible to apply for grants. The bidding process will close on 2 March 2015.