Sex assault group will offer face-to-face support

Oxford Mail: Natalie Brook, left, and Lisa Ward of Oxford Rape Crisis Natalie Brook, left, and Lisa Ward of Oxford Rape Crisis

SURVIVORS of sexual abuse will get face-to-face support after a charity was given a grant.

Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre (OXARCC) is one of nine groups to benefit from more than £400,000 around the county.

The first wave of cash from the Victims of Crime and Restorative Justice Grant has been distributed by Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld.

OXARCC was given a grant of £30,450 and manager Natalie Brook said this would create a new dedicated role in the service.

She said: “The money will fund an indepedent sexual violence adviser, which will be a new service for us for the first time.

“They will promote practical and emotional support to women who have experienced sexual violence at any time in their lives.

“We are hugely excited to be able to develop this much-needed face-to-face service and it will enable us to meet the growing need for an independent support stystem.”

The centre runs support groups for female survivors of sex abuse and supports victims via email and phone conversations.

Other groups to benefit are: s Sunrise Multicultural, Banbury £11,029 s Refugee Resource, Oxford £38,760 s Rape Crisis, Oxford £30,450 s Circles South East, Didcot £41,000 s Reducing the risk, Oxfordshire £53,000 s SAFE! £29,235 s Victim Support £35,372 s Thames Valley Partnership £46,953 More than £600,000 in total was awarded to organisations across the Thames Valley district, including charities in Milton Keynes, Reading and Aylesbury.

Mr Stansfeld said: “I am delighted with the quality of bids and breadth of services that this first round of grant funding has attracted.

“This has been an important first step in the process of identifying where there are gaps in services to support victims of crime.

“We will continue to work closely with voluntary sector organisations to understand how services need to develop further to better meet victims’ needs, and where they need to be more closely integrated so that the best outcomes for victims are achieved.”

Refugee Resource, which provides counselling and support for refugees and migrants, received £38,760.

Charity director Dr Anthony Kingsley said: “We are thrilled that the need for this has been identified by the PCC and we look forward to working with them.”

A second phase of funding is due in the autumn.

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