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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes has given a £10,000 grant to Gravesend charity Family Matters

20 March 2014
by Thom Morris

Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes has given a £10,000 grant to a Gravesend charity.

Family Matters, a rape crisis charity, received the cash alongside another charity, the East Kent Rape Line.

Both charities have seen a surge in victims seeking support - known as ‘the Savile effect’ - which has encouraged adults of childhood abuse to come forward.

Family Matters has been offering counselling and support services for child victims and adult survivors of sexual abuse and rape since 1990.

Kate Seymour from East Kent Rape Line, Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, and Malcolm Gilbert from Family Matters

Kate Seymour from East Kent Rape Line, Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, and Malcolm Gilbert from Family Matters

 

The charity has been struggling in recent years with the number of referrals they were getting.

Malcolm Gilbert, the charity’s business and funding director, said: "We are in dire need for funds to support the increased demand.

"We are also experiencing a downward incline in funding - having lost £100,000 in the last year.

"As we support 650 people in Kent, this additional funding really is a very welcome bonus."

Family Matters will use the money to support its work with younger victims of sexual abuse and violence.

It helps young people by providing therapy with specialist experts who help them deal with the initial effects of the assault and then longer term counselling.

"Rape and sexual assault are particularly horrendous crimes and have a long term and debilitating effect on the victim’s life and on their family’s lives as well."

The charity has piloted a system of High Street locations to offer some of these counselling services, which it says has been very successful.

Ann Barnes said: "I am absolutely determined to make sure that victims are at the heart of the Criminal Justice System.

"Rape and sexual assault are particularly horrendous crimes and have a long term and debilitating effect on the victim’s life and on their family’s lives as well.

"It is important that victims are referred to the right agency and these two charities are working hard to right the terrible wrongs done to these vulnerable people.

"I shall be following their progress carefully and I urge people to support this brilliant work either by becoming a volunteer or by donating."

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