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PCC welcomes critical support in A&E for victims of DA and SV

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Peter McCall, welcomes the additional three-year funding boost of £130,00 from the Ministry of Justice, that will support a specific Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisor (IDSVA) based at Carlisle or West Cumberland hospital, offering critical support for victims of domestic abuse (DA) and sexual violence (SV).

The PCC has commissioned Victim Support to work in partnership with North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and Northeast and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board, to provide a dedicated IDSVA who will offer proactive crisis intervention, focusing on victims attending A&E, as well as working as part of Victim Support’s wider community based IDSVA team.

PCC comments: “Providing support for victims in Cumbria, is a key priority and I am very pleased to see this new initiative get underway. Enabling victims of DA and SV to access support at hospital supporting them at a point when they really need help, is vital.

“This crucial new role will provide direct onsite support for victims who may not have accessed specialist services otherwise.

“Victims will be given help in developing individual safety plans and receive timely emotional and practical support, such as responding to any safeguarding concerns, including both child protection and vulnerable adult issues.

“The IDSVA will also explain and discuss, where appropriate, other ongoing help such as their legal options, housing, finance and how they are available to support them through the criminal justice system.

“Victims need to know that they are not alone, and this dedicated support for victims in crisis situations, adds to the wide variety of support for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault in Cumbria.”

Sarah Place from Victim Support Cumbria, comments: “We are really pleased and excited to collaborate with our partners in the NHS, to ensure our offer of support and crisis intervention is more widely available within health settings.

“This new health IDSVA role will be invaluable and will help us to offer our tailored support and safety planning to more victims in Cumbria. Accessing support via a health setting, may be the only opportunity for some of the more isolated and vulnerable victims of domestic and/or sexual abuse, to reach out for support.”

Rebecca Maidment, Head of Safeguarding at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, comments: “We are so pleased to be working together with the PCC office and Victim Support, to improve the offer for people in Cumbria who have experienced domestic abuse.

“There’s a lot of work being undertaken in the Trust to improve our recognition of and support for, people who’ve suffered this kind of trauma. We have recently launched a campaign aimed at highlighting the importance of our staff routinely asking patients ‘how safe do you feel?’. Most people who don’t feel safe actually want to be asked and those who do feel safe don’t mind being asked.

“This work can only be furthered by having expert IDSVAs on hand to offer their skills, experience, compassion and expert knowledge.”

Cumbria Constabulary Domestic Abuse lead, Detective Inspector James Yallop said: “This role will be of huge benefit to victims, offering timely specialist support through a single, dedicated, accessible person. Providing victims with the confidence and knowledge that they do have support, and options are available at what may be a lonely and harrowing time is a welcome investment.

“We appreciate that contacting the police is not always an option but I hope that for many, getting earlier specialist support through an IDSVA, will provide victims with the knowledge and resources to feel empowered to contact the police when the time is right for them.

“If you are considering reporting domestic abuse offences to us, please know that, whenever you are ready to speak to us, our officers are here to listen, to offer support and to investigate any crimes committed against you. No matter how many times you have spoken to us before, we understand how difficult it is to report this type of offence.  We are ready to take that call when you make it.”

Support is available at:

Victim Support

Local number 0300 30 30 157

24hr Supportline 08 08 16 89 111

For 24/7 access to our National live chat service follow this link:

Bridgeway Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)

0808 118 6432 (available 24/7)

Therapeutic services and counselling

Safety Net (North and West Cumbria) helping clients who have experienced rape, exploitation, sexual and domestic abuse. 01228 515859 

Birchall Trust (South Cumbria) helping clients who have experienced rape, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse 01229820828 

Victim Directory of support services link:

Victim Services Archive – Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (



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