Ministry of Justice
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Combined fund to support victims of sexual violence

Government funding for voluntary agencies that provide support to victims of sexual violence will be streamlined with the establishment of a one-year combined fund for 2010/11.

The fund has been created by merging the Office for Criminal Justice Reform Victims Fund and the Government Equalities Office Special Fund, in order to simplify the application and administration process for voluntary organisations in the sector. The combined fund will mean there is a single application and monitoring process.

Maria Eagle, Deputy Minister for Women and Equality and Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, said:

‘The government is committed to working with the voluntary sector to make sure victims of these devastating crimes get the support they need.

‘This combined fund makes the process of applying for funding simpler for voluntary agencies, bringing down administration costs and meaning they can spend more time on supporting victims of sexual violence.’

This move to simplify application and administration processes for voluntary organisations follows publication of the cross-government strategy Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls, which signalled a new approach to working with the voluntary sector. Alongside this combined fund for 2010/11, work is under way to develop longer-term arrangements, consistent with the strategy on Violence Against Women and Girls and the new National Victims Service.

As part of this process, the Home Office is also inviting organisations working in the sector to apply for grants to fund Independent Sexual Violence Advisers. For 2010/11 the Home Office is making a total of £860,000 available to fund ISVAs, who support victims of sexual violence by helping them to access services and supporting them as their cases progress through the criminal justice system.

Alan Campbell, Home Office minister, said:

‘It is essential that every victim has access to the services and support they need to be able to come forward, report these horrific crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice.

‘That is why I am pleased to announce that from today organisations in the voluntary sector can apply for a grant of up to £20,000 for 2010/11 so we can ensure more victims will have access to the specialist advice of an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser.’

Agencies can make applications for both sets of funding from 27 January until 22 February 2010 and grant awards will be announced in March, meaning that successful applicants will know what they can expect to receive ahead of the new financial year.

Details of how to apply, application forms and eligibility criteria for both sets of funding can be found at www.governmentfunding.org.uk and at the Home Office crime reduction website

Notes for editors

  1. For more information please contact the Ministry of Justice Press Office on 020 3334 3540.
  2. The Office for Criminal Justice Reform is the cross-departmental team that supports all criminal justice agencies in working together to provide an improved service to the public. As a cross-departmental organisation, OCJR reports to Ministers in the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Attorney General's Office. Over the last three years voluntary organisations providing support to victims of sexual violence have received a total of £3.75 million from the Victims Fund, which is administered by OCJR and funded from the victim surcharge.
  3. The Government Equalities Office is responsible for the government’s overall strategy, legislation, and priorities on equality issues. The office also has direct responsibility for policy on gender equality, sexual orientation, and for integrating work on race. The Prime Minister announced the establishment of the Government Equalities Office in July 2007 and it became a department in its own right in October 2007. It works to Ministers Harriet Harman, Maria Eagle, Vera Baird and Michael Foster.
  4. On 25 November 2009 the government published the Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy which set out how crucial Independent Sexual Violence Advisers have become in supporting victims of sexual violence and abuse. ISVAs are victim-focused advocates, funded to work with victims of recent and historic serious sexual crimes to enable them to access the services they need in the aftermath of the abuse they have experienced.

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