Evaluation of sexual abuse and assault support services

In Autumn 2019 Healthwatch Norfolk were commissioned by the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Network and funded by the National Lottery Awards for All programme to undertake a qualitative evaluation of sexual abuse or assault support services available in Norfolk. This report forms a part of the above-named project but acts as a standalone piece of work, mapping the support services available throughout Norfolk. Healthwatch Norfolk surveyed local service providers to gain an understanding of the services they provide, their response to service user feedback and the changes made during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is service provision for children, young people and adults who have been sexually abused or assaulted and for those who support them.

For those individuals who are seeking support, it could be a difficult landscape to navigate as the referral criteria can be complicated and the provision of services can be restricted by geography.

Norfolk and Waveney are dependent on the voluntary and community sector to provide these services, but the funding for these organisations is a mix of statutory funding through commissioning, grant funding donations and fund raising activity.

Services are flexible, with 75% providing outreach as part of their offer. All the organisations seek feedback from service users and adapt their services in response to this.

We now use video call/phone call sessions where this is appropriate, although most sessions remain face to face with robust risk assessment and following government guidelines.

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