PFCC funds support for sexual violence survivors
Posted August 3rd 2023
Professionals providing support to survivors of sexual violence are working to prevent future abuse.
CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse) works with victims and survivors of sexual violence and child sexual abuse, providing independent, specialist support and promoting and representing their rights and needs.
In addition to its core work supporting victims and survivors of sexual violence and child sexual abuse, the charity undertakes a range of preventative work, including working with schools as they support child victims of sexual violence, works with Essex University and supports community safety partnerships in mid and north Essex with preventative campaigns.
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PFCC) has contributed £14,000 to CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse) in the form of a crime and disorder reduction grant from the 2022-2023 Community Safety Development Fund to enable it to continue to carry out this work.
CEO Helen Parr said: “This money funds our time, so we can build our team and contribute to the many positive projects which are in place in mid and north Essex. It enables us to take on extra activities which are beyond our core remit of supporting survivors; to reach out and contribute.
“The funding recognises the fact we have experts in sexual violence within our organisation who need to be a part of discussions around preventing sexual violence. We have an in-depth understanding of sexual violence and its impact through our work supporting survivors.
“This preventative work is so important and helps understanding of the causes of sexual violence and what it is about society that means it is so prevalent and such a problem, especially for women and girls, but more widely for everyone. Our work is important in reducing violence and in increasing understanding of sexual behaviour and unhealthy relationships.”
PFCC Roger Hirst said: “Having the knowledge to recognise what constitutes an unhealthy relationship or sexual violence will without doubt help people to prevent these crimes from taking place in the future. The more people who understand the signs and appreciate what is right and wrong in a relationship, the more there will be nowhere to hide for those who carry out the abuse.”
CARA provides therapy and counselling to more than 800 people each year who are victims or survivors of sexual violence and child sexual abuse.
The work has a preventative aspect, with therapists working with clients to help them to better understand the sexual violence they have experienced and give them the tools to recognise predatory and abusive sexual behaviours in future.