Guidance launched to support victims of abuse

A cross-government programme designed to support victims of domestic and sexual violence was launched today by the Department of Health and the Home Office.

The Victims of Violence and Abuse Prevention Programme aims to improve outcomes and quality of life for people affected by domestic and sexual abuse.

Baroness Scotland said: “The VAPP will help raise awareness and understanding about these terrible crimes and will be instrumental in the development of coordinated community response to domestic and sexual violence that is emerging.”

Domestic and sexual violence costs the NHS £1.4 billion a year and are the most common causes of mental health problems in women.

However, in too many cases, victims and survivors are not identified and their needs and care are not met.

The VAPP aims to:-

• Increase the awareness of the health effects caused by violence and abuse amongst professionals

• Provide professionals with evidence, guidance and information they need to improve treatment

• Develop evidence based national service guidelines.

Scotland concluded: “By working together across all agencies more perpetrators will be bought to justice and victims will be identified earlier and given the support they need.”

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