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Home Affairs responds to calls for Sexual Assault Referral Centre

Home Affairs responds to calls for Sexual Assault Referral Centre

Wednesday 30 June 2021

Home Affairs responds to calls for Sexual Assault Referral Centre


The organisers of a recent Reclaim These Streets protest have made an impassioned call for a Sexual Assault Referral Centre, citing victims “too frightened” to go to the police because of low conviction rates; the President of Home Affairs has since come forward to reassure the public this remains a top priority.

The call from several organisers mirrors concerns raised by Deputies Yvonne Burford and Sasha Kazantseva-Miller, both pushing for funding for a SARC.

The issue has been raised in the run-up to the Government Work Plan debate, which includes SARC as a priority from the Committee for Home Affairs.

“The Committee for Home Affairs identified updating the Domestic Abuse Strategy as one of its priorities for this political term,” said Home Affairs President, Deputy Rob Prow.

“The next iteration of the Strategy proposes, not just the maintenance of existing services, but contains multiple recommendations, identifying a number of actions for investment which would support one of the most vulnerable groups in the community."

The multiple recommendations include the establishment of a Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

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Pictured: The recommendation sits within a raft of justice framework actions devised by Home Affairs.

The recommendations from Home Affairs will be debated within the Government Work Plan, which will be voted on in full in July.

The Guernsey Women’s Collective have urged the States to agree to the proposals, and to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

“We, as a group believe that it is vitally important that the deputies approve the funding to get the SARC off the ground and running from the July budget debate," said a spokesperson.

“We firmly believe that a SARC is essential for all people of the Bailiwick."

Deputy Rob Prow

Pictured: “Establishing a SARC received overwhelming support from the Assembly when the matter was considered as part of the Government Work Plan,” said Deputy Prow.

Despite support for the proposals, funding hasn’t been allocated to it yet, so work cannot progress at this stage.

“In July the Assembly will be considering the prioritisation and resourcing of all of the Recovery Actions identified in the GWP, it is hoped funding will be secured to support the service improvements – including establishing a SARC,” said Deputy Prow.

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