22 Jul 2020
Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, has been successful in securing additional funding from the Ministry of Justice for the recruitment of new ISVAs (Independent Sexual Violence Advisors) in the area.
An ISVA is specially trained to provide emotional and practical support for victims of rape or sexual assault. Their main role is to provide support around the criminal justice process, but they are independent from the police and are not legal advisors.
This additional funding announcement comes following a process commenced by the Ministry of Justice prior to lockdown but revisited and enhanced as a result of the additional funding made available nationally to assist with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on service provision.
Dyfed Powys was one of only 15 areas which was awarded funding, with an additional £55k secured for the area for the remainder of 2020/21, increasing to £63k in 2021/22.
Dafydd Llywelyn, Police and Crime Commissioner who has been instrumental in lobbying for increased funding, said; “I have continued to lobby hard at government level for increased funding to be made available, and I’m extremely pleased to be able to announce that we have been successful in securing this additional funding.
“ISVA caseloads continue to increase in both volume and complexity with cases often taking longer to come to court and involving more complex trauma, leading to a reduction in the number of clients exiting services.
“Our local ISVAs are often carrying more than the recommended case load which is clearly not sustainable.
“Dyfed Powys is a predominantly rural Force, with a landmass covering over half the size of Wales.
“The area faces unique challenges due to its rurality and as a result of the high cost of rural provision, some parts of the Dyfed Powys region have not always been adequately covered by ISVA services.
“It is important to ensure that ISVA services are available at bases throughout the Force area but also that we provide peripatetic ISVA services for those people who have been affected by sexual abuse and rape and who are not able to travel into centres; provision that is a must for a Force geography such as Dyfed Powys.”
The ISVA service is streamlined to one provider in Dyfed-Powys, which is New Pathways, and Mr Llywelyn, added; “The additional funding will enable New Pathways, our service provider, to provide a dedicated resource ensuring that this flexible delivery is available and more importantly sustainable. It will also enable enhanced ISVA support for children and young people.
New Pathways Deputy Chief Executive, Mike Wilkinson said; “It is vital that people affected by sexual violence receive specialist support when and where they need it.
“This is particularly important for people living in rural areas, who may feel additionally isolated and often find it difficult to access services.
“The funding that we have received from the OPCC directly addresses this issue by enabling us to employ a Community Based Independent Sexual Violence Advocate who will provide direct support for people affected by sexual violence in the region.
“We are very grateful to Mr. Llywelyn for his continued support and for keeping this issue high on his list of priorities.”
Policy and Engagement Advisor