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Tackling CSE in Surrey

Child Sexual Exploitation, or CSE, is the sexual abuse of a child or young person aged under 18 by an adult who involves them in inappropriate sexual activities either with themselves or another person. The activity often takes place in exchange for money, alcohol, drugs, food, accommodation or presents such as clothing or mobile phones, and victims can be targeted in person or online.

Surrey Police is committed to tackling this awful crime, and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has provided additional funding to support this drive. Recent funding has included:

£31,440 to provide a dedicated Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Analyst. The post holder will be responsible for advising and assisting in all aspects of investigation by providing strategic and tactical analysis of multi-agency CSE intelligence to senior officers, in order to identify offenders, series and trends, and to suggest problem solving prevention, disruption and intelligence gathering opportunities.

£31,440 to provide a dedicated Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Coordinator. The post holder will establish and maintain a network of contact with local partner agencies to facilitate intelligence sharing, which in turn will help identify CSE victims, perpetrators and hot spots of offending. They will also promote good customer service and police confidence by acting as the primary point of contact and in some cases single point of contact in relation to children at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation.

Rape & Sexual Assault Referral Centre

The Rape And Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) provides support to all male and female survivors of rape and sexual abuse in Surrey and the surrounding areas.

Often there is no one for a raped or sexually abused person to turn to, no one with whom to share their feelings. Caring partners or family members have difficulty understanding and coping with the aftermath and it’s often easier for survivors to talk to a skilled person – someone who can be relied upon to listen carefully and empathise with the caller, without making judgements.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner provides funding to RASASC to help it deliver and expand its services across the County. Recent funding includes:

£69,251 to enable the RASASC to provide another counselling hub in Leatherhead. The current Face to Face counselling service is located in Guildford and is working at full capacity with a growing waiting list of clients. Through the improved service, experienced and professional counsellors will work on a one-to-one basis with male and female survivors of rape and sexual abuse.

We have also provided additional funding so RASASC can  expand and develop its Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service, including the recruitment of new staff to better manage current caseloads and anticipated increase in referrals. ISVAs support male and female victims of rape and sexual abuse providing both practical and emotional support whether the assault was recent, non-recent or historic and whether the victim wishes to report the crime to the police or not. Helping the victim to make informed choices and signposting to other services is a central part of the ISVA role. The support from ISVAs is tailored to each client. This approach helps clients cope with the impact of the abuse and move towards recovery, according to the needs of the individual, for example enabling access to counselling, medical or other support services.

For more information about RASASC and the services it can offer, please visit: www.rasasc.org.

Supporting child victims of sexual violence

Sexual violence of any kind is a traumatic experience and for children and young people can have dramatic repercussions for the rest of their lives. In addition to group and individual therapy to help their recovery, children, young people and their families need practical support in the aftermath of any incident and through any court proceedings. This can be a stressful experience as it may involve a re-telling of the traumatic incident.

Jointly funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and NHS England, the Child Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) is focused on this practical, supportive role, acting as an independent advocate for the child/young person and providing support for historic and recent allegations. The ISVA works both inside and outside the criminal justice system and the role also includes:

Pro-actively working with local safeguarding teams to reduce the risk of harm

Providing face-to-face and telephone support to victims and their families

Supporting children and young people with coping strategies, relaxation, managing self-harm etc.

Supporting victims and families through court proceedings

Working with other agencies and services to ensure that victims’ needs are being recognised and met

Enabling quick access to therapeutic services where necessary

Training and awareness raising of SARC and preventative work

For more information about support available to victims of rape and sexual assault in Surrey please visit: www.solacesarc.org.uk

Surrey’s Domestic Abuse Outreach Service

Outreach services offer an independent, confidential, listening service to anyone affected by domestic abuse. They are free and impartial services, which can assist by giving practical help and emotional support as well as providing information on a wide range of issues including housing, benefits, safety planning and the needs of children affected by domestic abuse. They can also assist with accessing refuge accommodation if individuals need to leave their home in order to keep themselves safe.

Support can be given by telephone or, where appropriate and safe, with one to one meetings. Outreach services offer anything from a one off opportunity to talk, to longer term, ongoing support and assistance. They will also help people deal with other agencies, in an advocacy role, to help them get the services or information that they need. This means they will support individuals experiencing domestic abuse in talking to the police, legal services, housing or benefits agencies, according to their wishes and needs. Outreach services are also able to talk to people about how to get appropriate legal information and advice.

This year (2016/17) the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has made £100,000 of funding available to support the provision of specialist domestic abuse Outreach Services across Surrey. This includes the Freedom Programme and other appropriate group work for women who are or who have experienced domestic abuse and/or violence within their homes or relationships.

We have also provided £22,000 to support the development and delivery of the county-wide Men’s Outreach service for male survivors of domestic abuse and violence. The male outreach service will offer male victims a specialist service that will respond appropriately to their individual needs.

For more information please visit: www.surreyagainstda.info/how-to-get-help/.

Understanding Coercive Control with Professor Evan Stark

On 29 December 2015, coercive and controlling behaviour in an intimate or family relationship became a criminal offence, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Coercive control is a pattern of behaviour that exerts power and control over another. It is a complex pattern of abuse, and can include controlling finances, depriving their partner of their basic needs and isolating them from friends and family. It includes behaviour that happens not only face-to-face, but can also happen by phone and via social media.

On 10 March 2016 the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey ran an event for officers from Surrey Police, as well as partners from the councils, NHS, education and victim support services, to gain a better understanding of this new offence and how best to respond to it.

The event featured Professor Evan Stark, an award-winning researcher with an international reputation, whose book Coercive Control: The Entrapment of Women in Personal Life has played a major role in redefining domestic abuse in the UK and USA.