New £5m Centre For Abuse Victims

Jersey's Sexual Assault Referral Centre is set to be replaced with a £5 million Victim Advocacy Centre.

A planning application has been submitted to relocate Dewberry House on Route du Fort to a new site on Bagatelle Road.

The Victim Advocacy Centre will support adults and children affected by rape, sexual assault and domestic abuse.

The team that delivers that help say they want somewhere close to town, that is easily accessible and provides everything its uses need in one place.

Proposed design for the Victim Advocacy Centre at the junction of Bagatelle Road a Bagatelle Lane.

Dewberry House - which opened in 2017 - is currently located in a terraced house and is said to longer meet the requirements of have the capacity for the island's needs.

Laura Osmond says the team has seen more than 700 adults and children through its doors.

"For us, it's being able to identify that we're all going be able to need to come together, to be able to put that person at the heart of the criminal justice system, rather than having the victim navigating multiple agencies."

The centre would be home to the SARC, Jersey Victims First and Jersey Domestic and Sexual Abuse Support.

Official ssay they want to provide a modern, secure and safe space where victims will only have to tell their story once.

Since 2018 there have been 3,167 reported incidents of violence against women and girls in Jersey, with a 24% conviction rate.

If the plans are approved, work will take 18 months to complete.

The centre will be paid for from the Criminal Offences Confiscation Fund, which is money seized from criminals.

Sarah Hamon, Service Manager at Jersey Domestic and Sexual Abuse Support, says that is welcome use of the proceeds of crime:

"Obviously, that is giving back to the island, which I think is a real positive as well."

The centre will offer forensic medical care,criminal justice support and advocacy and therapeutic interventions.

There will be a space designed for children, and rooms where victims can talk to police in video recorded interviews about what has happened to them.

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