Most Vulnerable in West Yorkshire to Benefit From £14m Cash Boost

The multi-year funding, £13.89m, will pay for over 70 different services and support roles for victims and witnesses across West Yorkshire including 52 Independent Sexual Violence/Domestic Violence Advisers (ISVA/IDVA).

21st July 2022

Victims’ support services across West Yorkshire are set to receive nearly £14m in a cash boost aimed at supporting the region’s most vulnerable

For the very first time in England and Wales, the Ministry of Justice cash will secure services for the next three years, meaning security for victims, survivors and those charities and organisations designed to support them.

The multi-year funding, £13.89m, will pay for over 70 different services and support roles for victims and witnesses across West Yorkshire including 52 Independent Sexual Violence/Domestic Violence Advisers (ISVA/IDVA).

A new West Yorkshire wide service will also be established to specifically support victims of Domestic Abuse related Stalking.

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin said:

“This money goes straight to the heart of my pledge to put women and girls at the heart of the Policing Plan.

“We want to improve outcomes for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse as well as embedding a trauma informed approach to ensure services are sensitive, empathetic and understand the impact of lived experience.

“Women and men must be able to report a sexual assault in as supportive an environment as possible and that vision is a step closer with these vital funds. I look forward to working with service providers, who I know are as committed as me to ensure we are doing all we can to support those affected by trauma.”

Children and young people, disabled people, gypsy and traveller communities and males will be supported, as well as specific support services for victims based in communities across West Yorkshire including in hospitals and 6th form colleges.

John Robins QPM DL, Chief Constable, West Yorkshire Police, added:

“This funding will make such a real difference to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

“It will provide additional and much needed support to people who are often abused time and time again. The funding will further strengthen the multi-agency approach that is so important to ensure those abused receive both justice and long lasting solutions.”

Moya Woolven, Chief Executive, Basis Yorkshire said:

“We are incredibly pleased to have been awarded this funding to support the growing number of referrals from young people from the LGBTQ+ community who are being sexually exploited and abused.

“A specialist worker will be able to respond to them in a way that relates to their identity, doesn’t judge them for who they are nor what they’ve experienced and recognises challenges specific to these communities including the stigma they face and the greater challenge coming forward; supporting them as they recover from their experiences.”

Lesley McLean, Area Manager for West Yorkshire at Victim Support said:

“We are pleased to be able to launch our brand-new ISAC (Independent Stalking Advocate Caseworker) Service across the whole of West Yorkshire. Our team of expertly trained advocates will give frontline advice and support to all those who fall victim to stalking, regardless of who they are or whether or not they have reported to the police. Given the increasing number of stalking reports in the area, it is more important than ever that we can offer a specialist service to provide the best support for victims.”

Thomas Gaffney, Service Manager at Leeds GATE added:

"At Leeds GATE (Gypsy and Traveller Exchange) we believe that everyone should be kept safe.

“This funding will enable our service to be proactive rather than reactive to individuals and families who have been impacted by Domestic Violence and Abuse.

“By following our value of being brave and creative we will develop an holistic approach to make change by building trusted relationships, and offering long term support to Gypsy and Traveller people who have experienced Domestic Violence/Abuse.

“We are very grateful for the MOJ providing Leeds GATE with funding to be able to have our first IDVA worker."