A charity offering support for victims of sexual abuse has secured funding to begin a new counselling project in Tower Hamlets.
The Nia Project, who aim to combat male violence against young women, received funding from the Home Office on February 23 as part of a government initiative to end gang and youth violence.
Safety planning, risk management and assistance in accessing legal advice will now be available for young women in Tower Hamlets, and neighbouring Newham.
It’s expected the service will accommodate young adults aged between 11-18 who have experienced, or are under threat of, sexual violence.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “We are pleased to work alongside organisations such as this to help provide invaluable support to young people in the borough.”
Nia have said their services will cater, but won’t be restricted, to victims of sexual exploitation, rape, sexual bullying and pressuring, or ‘gang’ sexual involvement.
Tower Hamlets’ advice team also said: “Some groups of adults experience more abuse and neglect than the general population.” It’s estimated that 250,000 children in Britain witness domestic violence every year; in over half of these cases, children are also directly abused.
Councillor Ohid Ahmed, cabinet member for community safety said: “This network – including different departments within the council – is vital for helping affected residents feel confident in the borough again.”
This follows nine arrests made on the weekend of February 6 by the Metropolitan Police in conjunction with a borough-wide crackdown on prostitution.
The operation saw officers make arrests, around the Chester Street area, for various offences, including the solicitation of sexual services, money laundering and supplying of drugs.
The council are urging residents who feel at threat to contact the East London Rape Crisis helpline on 020 7683 1210 for further support.