£118k extra funding to support rape and sexual assault survivors in mid and west Wales

Credit: PA

A national investment of £118k has been secured for Dyfed-Powys Police force to recruit new Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) in the area.

ISVAs are specially trained to provide emotional and practical support for survivors of rape or sexual assault. Their main role is to provide support around the criminal justice process. They work independently from the police and are not legal advisors. 

Additional funding from the MoJ has been made available to assist with the impact of the pandemic on services.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn had been lobbying for more funding for the area.

He said: "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 police force area, with a landmass covering over half the size of Wales. 

ISVA services will be able to support both those who can travel into centres and those who cannot. The funding will also enable improved support for children and young people.

To report a sexual assault call police on 101 (or 999 in an emergency).

The NHS Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre freephone helpline is: 0808 802 9999. It is open 12-2.30pm and 7-9.30pm every day of the year, providing support for female survivors, partners, family and friends.

The Mankind organisation offers support for men who have been sexually abused. Their helpline is: 01273 911680.