Standards to support the victims of sexual violence are launched – as PCC releases hard-hitting figures that show nine people a day are attacked in the West Midlands
A new scheme to support the victims of sexual violence
has been launched - as the PCC releases hard-hitting figures that
show nine people a day are raped or seriously sexually assaulted in
the West Midlands.
Public and voluntary organisations under the banner of the West
Midlands Preventing Violence Against Vulnerable People Governance
Board have worked together to produce a new set of standards
committed to the protection and support of victims and to help them
rebuild their lives.
The standards, subscribed to by the police, NHS, all the local
councils and organisations such as CRASAC and RSVP, will be
officially launched by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner
David Jamieson at Public Health England in Colmore Row, Birmingham,
on Thursday, September 22.
The standards detail what services should be delivered and how.
They also set out the minimum level of support and understanding a
victim should expect from whatever agency they turn to in their
hour of need. To read them in full, click here.
The PCC today released figures (see table below) detailing how
many people are attacked in the region to show the full extent of
the issue and how seriously organisations are taking it.
In 2015, there were 3,442 rapes or serious sexual assaults in
the West Midlands Police force area. So far this year, there have
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David
Jamieson said:"These unthinkable crimes have a devastating
effect on victims, who deserve the upmost support and
"More people are coming forward to report such horrific offences
and I believe that is a sign of improved confidence in the police
and support services on offer.
"However, there is always more to be done and ways to improve
and these standards are part of that drive to be better."
The standards come alongside ever-developing preventative work,
including projects with young people in schools and youth groups to
learn about healthy relationships, respect and equality.
The standards also send out a clear message that it is always
the perpetrator who is to blame and never the victim.
Dianne Whitfield, Chief Officer of CRASAC (Coventry Rape
and Sexual Abuse Centre), said: "All too often in the
specialist support sector we hear again and again of the poor and
inadequate responses victims and survivors receive from agencies
that are supposed to help. In the West Midlands, we have said
enough is enough. These standards will give those agencies the
'how' to improve things for all victims of rape and sexual
"We know we have a lot of work to do but these standards hold
the voices of 100 West Midlands victims at their heart and we will
honour them and ensure we are successful at providing them with the
support they so desperately need."
Dr Sue Ibbotson, Centre Director Public Health England
West Midlands, said: "Sexual violence and abuse
blights the lives, health and wellbeing of victims and also wider
society. We are committed to working with partners to ensure
all those affected by sexual violence and abuse receive
understanding, and supportive responses wherever they turn.
"Violence is neither inevitable nor immutable, and prevention is
key. This is the work we will continue with partners through the
West Midlands Violence Prevention Alliance."
Nick Page, Chief Executive of Solihull Metropolitan
Borough Council and Chair of the West Midlands Preventing Violence
Against Vulnerable People Governance Board, added: "The
standards outline a clear commitment from all key agencies working
across the West Midlands to provide the best possible service to
victims and survivors of sexual violence and abuse. Through
integrated working and collaboration we will continue to enhance
our provision, demonstrating our commitment to these
The standards are subscribed to by Birmingham City Council,
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Coventry City Council,
Dudley Council, Sandwell Council, Wolverhampton City Council,
Walsall Council, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Police and
Crime Commissioner, NHS, RSVP, CRASAC, Barnardo's, Horizon and
Public Health England.
Number of crimes (rape and serious sexual assault) in West
Midlands Police area
2016 to date