£50,000 has been requested by the Committee for Home Affairs to help it kickstart a pilot scheme for a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).
The Committee has submitted an amendment to the 2022 Government Work Plan, which will be debated in the States next week.
The money requested would help with training costs.
Deputy Sue Aldwell is the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence lead for the Committee, she said: “Earlier this year the Committee promised to expedite work to open a SARC in Guernsey, and this additional funding will allow us to bring any potential opening date forward.
“Exploratory works are already well under way, but a facility such as a SARC requires staff which are specially trained, and needs to meet specific requirements to ensure it is suitable. This additional funding, if approved by the States, would allow us to resource those requirements.”
Pictured: Deputy Aldwell said: “A SARC will go a long way in supporting members of our community who are victims of sexual offences or domestic abuse.”
The amendment would also require other committees involved in the development of a SARC to commit “appropriate resources” to the pilot. These include the Policy & Resources Committee, the Committee for Health & Social Care and the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture.
Home Affairs said: “Establishing a SARC is already a priority workstream in the Committee’s Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy, and, under the GWP, would get its initial funding in 2023.
“Whilst scoping requirements for the SARC have commenced, this amendment would allow work to establish the services to begin this year, supporting the preparation work required for the launch of a SARC next year.”
Deputy Aldwell and officers from Home Affairs recently met with the manager of Jersey’s SARC to better understand how a similar centre in Guernsey would operate.
“It is of the upmost importance that any SARC is done in the correct way, with responding to its user’s needs and concerns being its priority,” said the Committee.
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