As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 18th January, Stephanie has pledged to support sexual violence and abuse services after a report revealed the financial cost of sexual violence against women and girls was nearly £40,000 over the last year.
The local MP attended the Parliamentary launch of a report into the ‘Funding and Commissioning of Sexual Violence and Abuse Services’, produced by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual Violence.
The report describes a sector struggling to keep up with increasing demand and the financial toll sexual violence takes, revealing that violence against women and girls in Barnsley East cost £36,403,619 in 2017.
It also outlined that specialist sexual violence and abuse services are facing serious challenges to maintain sustainability, with demand for Rape Crisis services rising 17% on last year but funding has not increased in kind.
The report recommended a statutory right of access to specialist services for survivors; long-term sustainable funding for those services; the introduction of minimum levels of specialist services per head of the population and a Victim’s offer that outlines the available services in each region.
Commenting on the report, Stephanie said:
“I was shocked to find that the cost of violence against women and girls in my constituency is over £36,000 in a year. That is nothing compared to the personal cost to victims and survivors.
“Specialist sexual violence and abuse services provide victims with the crucial support they need to become survivors the Government should make a transformative effort to put the needs of victims and survivors at the heart of government policy.”