News and Events

Increase in Treatment Funding for Victims of Sexual Assault

In a positive move for those subject to sexual assault, the Ministry of Justice announced on the 7th of February 2020 that an increase in Government funding for victims of rape would come into effect.

What is the increase in funding for treatment?

The increase is intended to cover all 42 Police and Crime Commissioner areas in the country, in response to the more than 160,000 sexual offences recorded by police in 2019.   This is the second time in the past year that there has been an increase in such funding, increasing from £8 million to £12 million a year.

What will the additional funding be used for?

It will be used for various services, including personal support and counselling. It also includes an investment of £1 million for the recruitment of additional Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) who are crucial in victim support and help link police, support services and criminal justice agencies.

The increase is aimed at allowing, among others, the 76 rape support services run directly by the Government, the chance to offer victims the ongoing stability and security they desperately need. The government will also continue to provide services via Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) who in 2019/2020 were allocated £68 million of funding to support victims of sexual violence both emotionally and practically.

The increase by the Government is a reaction to an ever-increasing number of victims of sexual assault and rape which shows no sign of slowing down.

Will this funding be sufficient to meet all the needs of the victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse?

Unfortunately, not all the needs of victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse are met by Government funding alone.  

The mental health support needed to deal with the effects of sexual assault vary from person to person and are never something which can be fixed overnight.     Pursuing a claim against the abuser (or those response for the abuser and offender’s actions), can give individuals the ability to address their treatment needs, instead of just using what is available to them through the Government, which is both limited in time (number of sessions) and funding.

Years of counselling and psychological treatment can help treat victims of sexual abuse but are not necessarily enough to completely heal the damage done but these attacks. They can often have debilitating physical effects which continue to effect victims well into later life. The ability to form relationships, obtain employment and care for themselves are often problems which an increase in government funding may not address.

While the government has dedicated extra funding to one-on-one counselling, this is often not sufficient (in terms of period of treatment), and some victims are expected to attend support groups to discuss their issues, which is not appropriate when the mental health problems arise out of sexual assault. If a successful claim for compensation can be pursued, the compensation can include the full cost therapy and counselling which is recommended by a consultant psychiatrist or psychologist.

If you are a victim of sexual abuse or assault and do not believe that you are getting the amount of support you need from mental health services then we may be able to help you. With the compensation you deserve we can help you find the right support that works for you, and work together to fill the gap left by Government services.

Contact our sexual assault lawyers today

For further advice contact our no win, no fee sexual assault compensation solicitors, for advice on how to make a compensation claim for sexual assault, or to explore the options and possibilities that are available, without any obligation. Call us today on 0333 123 9099, email or fill in our online form.

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