Strengthening the Domestic & Sexual Abuse Sectors

We have always supported individual local charities tackling domestic abuse. Through our influencing work, we’re now doing even more to support the sector. In 2015 we launched our strategic national programme which plans to invest a further £3m over three years to help the domestic abuse sector develop new approaches and respond to the challenges facing it.

Transform: Domestic and Sexual Abuse

Transform is a one-off grants programme launched in 2016 that offered grants worth up to £100,000 over two years, aimed at stimulating innovation and improvements in the domestic and sexual abuse sectors.

Improving Commissioning

Commissioners are responsible for paying for government-funded services. The processes that domestic abuse commissioners follow typically shape the services that are available to victims and survivors.

Working with Imkaan, SafeLives, Welsh Women’s Aid and Women’s Aid Federation of England, we have produced a Collaborative Commissioning Toolkit for Services in Wales, a resource to support the commissioning of services for those effected by violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence. Home Office have published the Violence Against Women and Girls: Commissioning toolkit for England which builds on our work with the above partners. 

Helping Specialist Services Win New Funding

Recognising that it’s harder than ever for specialist services to access funding to deliver services, we’re also supporting Women’s Aid Federation of England, Imkaan and Welsh Women’s Aid to help small, specialist services prepare for and be more successful in bidding for funding. This is being provided through consultancy support, regional development officers and a BME development officer.

This work builds on the emergency funding we gave to Women’s Aid Federation of England in 2014 and 2015 to support specialist services to apply for short term grants made available by the Department for Communities and Local Government. This meant 27 charities were able to meet the strict application requirements and access £4.2m of new government money, saving women’s refuges that were under threat of closure. 

Tackling Perpetrators

While support for domestic abuse victims will also be the first priority, moves to tackle domestic abuse can’t end there. If we are ever to end the cycle of abuse, we must challenge those who perpetrate it.

Two women a week die as a result of domestic homicide. Yet fewer than 1% of perpetrators receive a specialist intervention to change.

We are investing £1m in Drive, a pilot approach to change the behaviour of domestic abuse perpetrators which has been developed by Respect, SafeLives and Social Finance. As the leading charitable funder our investment supports the set-up, innovation and evaluation of the project.

Responding to Government Consultations

Together with charities and other colleagues in the voluntary sector, we have made the following submissions: