All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual Violence report into the Funding and Commissioning of Sexual Violence and Abuse Services 2018

Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sexual Violence launched the group's report into the ‘Funding and Commissioning of Sexual Violence and Abuse Services’.  The report finds that sexual violence and abuse victims wait up to 14 months to access valued counselling at Rape Crisis Centres, and the sector does not have the resources to keep up with demand. The report comes from the APPG’s inquiry, which heard evidence from survivors of sexual violence, service providers, civil servants and government ministers.

Findings show that specialist sexual violence and abuse services are facing serious challenges to their sustainability. Rape Crisis service delivery rose 17% last year but funding has not increased accordingly. Services are struggling due to short-term contracts being awarded, which creates instability and uncertainty for employees and service users.

The report finds that services are highly valued by sexual violence and abuse victims and survivors, but describes a chaotic funding landscape, with services being required to compete for funding from multiple government departments, and a vacuum of strategic overview from central government.

The report recommends the government creates a statutory right to specialist sexual violence and abuse services, with specific funding to match the commitment, so that all victims and survivors are able to access support at the appropriate time for them.

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