Thames Valley sex exploitation victims to be helped with grant

Two charities have been awarded a total of £120,000 to help victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking in the Thames Valley.

Reading-based Mustard Tree and Elmore in Oxford said there was "a serious gap" in support for such victims.

The money will help pay for two trauma advisors employed by the charities.

It forms part of a £600,000 Victims of Crime and Restorative Justice Grant awarded by the region's Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld.

'Vital roles'

Mustard Tree chief executive Lorraine Briffitt said the charity was "delighted to have been awarded money for two vital roles".

The charity runs The Rahab Project, helping those exploited in the sex industry through, for example, prostitution and trafficking.

It will work with the Oxford charity to "improve support for vulnerable people and awareness-raise across the Thames Valley".

Mr Stansfeld awarded this first round of grants to a variety of other organisations including support services for victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, young victims of crime and restorative justice services.

He said: "This has been an important first step in the process of identifying where there are gaps in services to support victims of crime."

In November the government announced that police and crime commissioners would become responsible for commissioning emotional and practical support services for victims of crime in their local areas.

A second phase of funding is due in the autumn, and a third phase in April 2015.

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