Statement regarding Portsmouth City Council’s Contribution to Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy Funding:

How Portsmouth city council help fund sexual violence advocacy
Posted August 8, 2019 by
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Over the last week or so we have seen Aurora mentioned in social media posts relating to the partial funding of our Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy (ISVA) service.

We want to take this opportunity to clarify a few things.

Firstly, as an organisation we have our own voice and always speak for ourselves. It is incredibly important as a registered charity that we do not affiliate with any particular political party and we take this very seriously.

Our ISVA service

We have run an ISVA service in the city of Portsmouth since 2011. From 2011 – 2017 this was funded directly from central government.

Since 2017 we have provided an ISVA service across East Hampshire. We are very grateful to Portsmouth City Council for the funding they have placed into the partnership budget for ISVA services across Hampshire and Portsmouth. As a city with a large population, sexual violence victim rates in Portsmouth have remained consistently one of the highest across the Portsmouth and Hampshire.

If you would like a breakdown of what this funding has provided since 2011 to present, please do feel free to contact us at any time.

We enjoy a good relationship with the officers at Portsmouth City Council and are proud of our partnership across the county with other providers and with the police. None of our services are able to function properly without the good work of other agencies and we thank them all for their support and commitment to victims and survivors of sexual violence.

What you can do:

There is clearly a lot of conversation about this funding at the moment, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to galvanise on the energy, passion and commitment shown by those talking about sexual violence, an opportunity to move away from social media spats and to raise the profile of the experience of victims of sexual violence. There is so much to do and this is your call to action:

As members of the national End Violence Against Women coalition we would love for you to view, and if you feel able, take part in these campaigns:

  1. Only 1.5% of rapes that are reported to the police are charged, that equates to only one in sixty five rapes reported ending up in court – The EVAW coalition argues that this is in effect “a decriminalization of this extremely harmful crime”. You can write to your MP and demand justice for rape victims here.
  2. EVAW are also campaigning alongside Fern Champion to recognise the plight of survivors who are unable to access therapeutic services due to lack of funding – you can sign Fern’s petition here and write to your MP about the inadequate funding of rape crisis centres and specialist independent support services for victims of sexual violence here.
  3. Finally if you want to do something for a local voluntary sector organisation (it doesn’t have to be anything related to Violence against Women) find a service you like, one that speaks to you, and organise a fundraiser. It doesn’t have to be banners and whistles, a simple cake sale or sponsored walk will do. Almost a decade of austerity has taken a huge impact on the voluntary sector, and any contribution will be greatly appreciated.

Most importantly for us we want to thank the victims and survivors who use our service. Thank you for trusting us and working with us. Every day we are astounded by your bravery and feel incredibly privileged to be working alongside you. We promise we will never give up on you and will continue to work hard to raise awareness about the struggles you face and to support you in any way we can.

Shonagh Dillon

CEO – Aurora New Dawn

Aurora New Dawn

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Are you affected by any of the issues mentioned here? If so, please get in touch!
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About the author

Writer in Residence

Sarah Cheverton is Aurora New Dawn's Writer in Residence and a freelance writer and researcher. As well as writing the copy for the Aurora website, Sarah works with the Aurora team on consultation responses, communications and service evaluations. She also works as a Co-Editor for feminist news site Women's Views on News.

See all of Writer in Residence's articles — 45 total

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