In 2019/20 the PCC commissioned Family Matters to provide support to victims who have experienced rape or sexual violence.

The support is available to all victims across Kent and Medway - irrespective of whether they reported the crime to the police, when the crime took place, or the position of the case in the criminal justice system.

There are three elements to the service:

  • An Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) provides independent support, advocacy, and impartial advice and information. This might include explaining available options, such as reporting to the police, accessing Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) services or providing information on other services such as health.
  • A Child Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (CISVA) offers the same help as above, but to under-18s. They also work with the victim's family or carers to ensure they are able to help the victim cope and recover.
  • Further bespoke support is provided collaboratively with the ISVA. This could include specialist counselling, crisis intervention, therapeutic services; or specialist support for male victims, LGBT victims, child victims, and those with learning disabilities or mental health needs.

This is a £450,000-a-year contract for three years, with the option to extend for up to three more years.

It is a requirement of the contract that the service evolves through the lifetime of the contract. This is to ensure it is able to respond effectively to new and emerging trends and working practices.