August 2020: News from Avon & Somerset PCC
Helping those worst affected by pandemic
AS we navigate our way through the recovery phase of lockdown, I want to ensure support and help is available to the people and communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
I have relaunched the Commissioner’s Community Action Fund (CCAF) and I will be offering an additional £200,000 to support charities, voluntary organisations and groups helping to deal with the consequences of the global health emergency. Such initiatives across Avon and Somerset can apply for grants up to £5,000.
The extra funding will continue to strengthen those hard-working and courageous organisations who have been a lifeline to local people during these challenging times. By working together we can continue to make improvements in our communities.
The CCAF application process is easy and straightforward. Please remember that we want to say yes to as many of these initiatives as much as possible. More information can be found on my website, www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk.
I’m sure many of us are aware that local people living in domestic abuse environments have been more vulnerable and at risk due to the lockdown.
My team and I have secured over £500,000 of additional funding for 17 local support services who help victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
This funding will help to cover organisations’ losses and costs incurred, following both adapting and increasing these services during the pandemic.
The extra funding will also strengthen local support services’ response to any change in demand as life starts to return to some sort of ‘normal’. We will continue to work with our partners to ensure victims and survivors know help is out there.
There are many stereotypes surrounding domestic abuse that still need to be broken, including men only being perpetrators, women only being victims and domestic violence only taking place in spousal relationships. This is not the case. One type of domestic abuse that is not spoken about enough is child-to-parent abuse (CPA).
Since 2010, there has been an increase in CPA reports across the country and it is likely we will see a spike in such abuse as a result of lockdown. I want to reach out to these victims and survivors and say you are not alone and you do not need to suffer in silence.
I know many victims feel too fearful and ashamed to come forward, as they do not want to get their loved ones in trouble, but I cannot stress enough that help is out there. You do not need to report to the police to access help, and support services will work with you to reach the best outcome for you and your family.
For more information about help available, please visit www.thisisnotanexcuse.org
In these uncertain times, let’s all be cautious, act with common sense but still show compassion towards one another.