APPG reports funding for violence against women & girls services not fit for purpose

24 Feb 2015

A cross-party group of MPs have released their findings from a recent inquiry concluding that the current funding systems for domestic and sexual violence services are ‘not fit for purpose’. 

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Domestic and Sexual Violence, supported by Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis, conclude in their report that the current approach to funding domestic and sexual violence services is too piecemeal, and is based on short-term risk management rather than responding to what women and girls need in order to recover.

The report recommends that responses to domestic and sexual violence should focus on the needs of women and girls experiencing violence, and that a sustainable funding solution is essential to providing this.

The report recommends:

  • that the Government adopts a needs led approach to tackling sexual violence and domestic violence and bolsters services that address women’s and girls’ needs
  • that the Government develops sustainable funding models to make sure there are enough specialist services for women and girls experiencing domestic and sexual violence, especially BME women and girls
  • the creation of a cross-departmental Cabinet Office Minister with responsibility for tackling violence against women and girls
  • that relevant Government departments work together to provide guidance to commissioners of domestic and sexual violence services on how to work together to make sure essential good services are provided
  • that better data on violence against women and girls should be collected, and that the data that is collected should be broken down more to show the gender, ethnicity, and other relevant characteristics of those experiencing and perpetrating domestic and sexual violence

Lee Eggleston, Chair of Rape Crisis England & Wales said:

“Rape Crisis organisations continuously face pressure to find the funds locally to survive year upon year and are all too familiar with tackling difficult decisions about the closure or reduction of services. 

Long-lasting improvement can only come with a national funding strategy that puts an end to the piecemeal way that specialist services are commissioned and funded, and which allows for growth to fully meet the needs of sexual violence victims and survivors.

By implementing the APPG’s recommendations, the government will free Rape Crisis centres up to focus all their energies on their life-changing and life-saving work.”