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Support charity doubles resources for survivors of sexual violence amid Covid-19

A sexual violence support charity which has a growing waiting list of victims needing help is doubling the support it offers thanks to a new government grant.

Sail Derbyshire is one of more than 540 charities to be allocated emergency funding from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to help it respond to increased demand throughout the pandemic.

The funding will allow the charity to double the support it delivers through its Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service and expand the help and support for victims and survivors regardless of whether they choose to report their experiences to the police.

The charity has 140 victims and survivors of sexual abuse and violence currently on its waiting list who will now have access to more support thanks to the additional funding.

Dena Osborne, Chief Executive of Sail Derbyshire, said: “The lockdown has given perpetrators of violence a tool to be able to abuse more effectively with a greater potential for control.

“We already offer an ISVA service part-time and this funding will cover the cost of additional hours in anticipation of an increase in demand. We currently have a waiting list of 140 clients, who will require ongoing emotional support, so it really is desperately needed.

“For us, these extra ISVA hours help to complete our service by allowing us to support those victims who wish to go further and involve the police. This might increase the number of people reporting these crimes which is to be welcomed.

ISVAs provide much-needed informational, practical and emotional support and advocacy for sexual violence survivors.

As well as aiding emotional recovery, ISVA practitioners can help resolve practical problems with housing, schools or employers which have arisen as a result of a victim’s experience of crime.

SAIL provides free specialist counselling for people aged 18 and over in Derbyshire who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, incest or sexual violence.

The charity has a dedicated website and helpline where victims of sexual abuse and violence can self-refer to the service.

Its counselling services are provided volunteer counsellors. All counsellors are either qualified or receiving training and receive ongoing support and supervision to ensure they are working to the highest professional standards.


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