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19 December, 2017

Welsh Women’s Aid State of the Sector Report 2017

A State of the Sector report published by Welsh Women’s Aid has revealed the impact of funding restrictions on specialist services and survivors of abuse who depend on these services in Wales in 2017.

Funding cuts have come against a backdrop of already overstretched and under-resourced services. Each year, many specialist violence against women services are at risk of losing funding, many of whom have already suffered year-on-year losses either as a result of direct cuts to grants or years of standstill funding.

Welsh Women’s Aid’s State of the Sector report found that:

In 2016/17:
• 14,129 women, men, children and young people were provided with refuge and community based advocacy and support by Welsh Women’s Aid member services
• 500 survivors (456 – 90% were women) were unable to be supported in refuges when they needed help because of a lack of service resources or capacity
• Of these 500 survivors, 249 could not be accommodated by refuges in Wales because there was no space available in the service contacted when they needed help.

For specialist services across Wales, changes to funding include:
• A 14% reduction in funding from local authority children’s services and Families First grant programmes. Some specialist providers do not receive any funding specifically for support for children
• The loss of 30% of funding from Housing and Homeless prevention grants from local authorities
• The risk, next year, of further cuts to funding.

Eleri Butler, Chief Executive, Welsh Women’s Aid, said:

“We face a stark choice in Wales of delivering on the national commitment to sustainably fund specialist services in the third sector, or failing survivors in Wales by discarding and dismantling the very services that provide life-saving and life-changing support to victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence, ‘honour-based’ violence, sexual exploitation and harassment.”

“A lack of commitment to long-term funding for specialist services and the proposed loss of the ‘Supporting People’ grant ring-fence, combined with UK proposals to hand over the rental costs for refuges to governments to distribute, will have devastating consequences for survivors of abuse.”

“Last year we know of at least 249 survivors of abuse who couldn’t get into refuges in Wales because there was no space when they needed help, and sexual violence services across Wales experienced a 17% cut in their overall funding. Many women travel hundreds of miles to be safe, so depend on the national network of services to keep them alive.”

“Funders in Wales must listen to the concerns of specialist services and survivors and act now, if we do not want to repeat the mistakes made in England, which has resulted in the closure of 17% of specialist domestic abuse refuges since 2010. Sustainable, long-term funding is essential to secure the future of services – like refuges, specialist provision for Black and minority women, and rape support services – so that they can effectively meet the needs of survivors in Wales.”

Anyone affected by domestic abuse, sexual violence or any other form of violence against women in Wales can contact the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 for 24-hour, for confidential information and support, and help to access local services.

To read the report, please click WWA State of the Sector 2017 ENG.

Footnotes for the report are below:

1. Welsh Government, ‘National Strategy on Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence – 2016-2021’, Welsh Government, 2016.
2. Our membership of third sector VAWDASV specialist services in Wales, with whom we have national partnership agreements to ensure our work is coordinated and integrated: Aberconwy DAS, Atal y Fro, Bangor and District Women’s Aid, Bawso, Clwyd Alyn Housing Association (CAHA) Women’s Aid, Safer Merthyr Tydfil, Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service, Calan DVS, Cardiff Women’s Aid, Cyfannol Women’s Aid, Domestic Abuse Safety Unit (DASU), Glyndwr Women’s Aid, Gorwel (Grwp Cynefin), Hafan Cymru, Llamau, Montgomeryshire Family Crisis Centre, New Pathways, Newport Women’s Aid, North Denbighshire Domestic Abuse Service, Port Talbot & Afan Women’s Aid, RCT Women’s Aid, Safer Wales (including Dyn Project), Swansea Women’s Aid, Threshold (formerly Llanelli Women’s Aid), West Wales Domestic Abuse Service, Stepping Stones, Rape and Sexual Assault Centre North Wales, Welsh Women’s Aid Colwyn Bay, and Welsh Women’s Aid Wrexham.
3. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Summary of 2016/17 Data from Specialist Services in Wales’, 2017.
4. Whether this was because they were full, unable to meet support needs/due to complex needs, lacked accessibility for disabled survivors, lacked resources to support women unable to claim benefits.
5. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Summary of 2016/17 Data from Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
6. Ibid
7. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘The Live Fear Free Helpline: Helpline Annual Report: 1st April 2016-31st March 2017’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
8. K. Ingala Smith, ‘2016’, Counting Dead Women, https://kareningalasmith.com/2016/03/03/2016/, (accessed 17 Oct 17).
9. Crown Prosecution Service, ‘Violence against Women and Girls Report: Tenth Edition 2016-17, Annex 1’ CPS, 2017.
10. Ibid.
11. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/appendixtablesfocusonviolentcrimeandsexualoffences, (accessed 14 Nov 2017).
12. Macfarlane, ‘Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in England and Wale: National and local estimates’, City University London, 2015.
13. This figure is an estimate based on the rates of prevalence for Cardiff presented in the following document as 7 women per 1,000 female population (female population of around 181,600): A. Macfarlane, ‘Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in England and Wales: National and local estimates’, City University London, 2015.
14. Office for National Statistics, ‘Compendium: Intimate personal violence and partner abuse’, ONS, 2016, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/compendium/focusonviolentcrimeandsexualoffences/yearendingmarch2015/chapter4intimatepersonalviolenceandpartnerabuse, (accessed 22 Nov 2017).
15. S. Walby, ‘The Cost of Domestic Violence’, Update 2009.
16. Home Office (2005) ‘The economic and social costs of crime against individuals and households 2003/04’, 2005. Figures from this report were up-rated to 2009 prices in the government response to the Stern Review (2011). See https://www.sericc.org.uk/pdfs/5953_government-stern-review.pdf.
17. This perspective is supported by evidence from the United Nations, World Health Organisation, European Conventions and UK strategies.
18. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
19. Ibid.
20. Welsh Government, ‘Draft Budget 2018-19: Detailed proposals: A new Budget for Wales’, Welsh Government, http://gov.wales/docs/caecd/publications/171003-budget-narrative-a-en.pdf, 2017, p.18, (accessed 25 Oct 2017).
21. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Safe Refuges, Save Lives: The impact of cuts on specialist domestic abuse and sexual violence services across Wales 2015-16’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2016.
22. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
23. Ibid.
24. There has been an overall loss of up to 5% of funding for the VAWDASV specialist sector in Wales (Of all complete responses for 2016/17, the totals were £22,152,606 for 2016/17 and £21,478,450 for 2017/18); Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
25. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
26. Ibid.
27. Ibid.
IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Adviser) and ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Adviser) services offer advocacy and support to survivors by supplying information around legal proceedings and rights, police reporting, assisting with contacts with the police and Crown Prosecution Service, allowing survivors with the opportunity to talk about their situation in a safe space and helping them gain support from other agencies such as housing, health, addiction and counselling.
28. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
29. Ibid.
30. Ibid.
31. During 2018/19 seven local authorities will become ‘Full Flexibility Pathfinders’ – Bridgend, Cardiff, Conwy, Newport, Merthyr Tydfil, RCT and Torfaen. These local authorities will be given 100% flexibility across the following grants: Supporting People, Flying Start, Families First, Communities First Legacy Fund and the new Employability Grant, effectively removing the ring-fence in 2018/19 in a third of local authorities.
32. Women’s Aid England, ‘Why we need to Save our Services Women’s Aid data report on specialist domestic violence services in England’, Women’s Aid England, 2014, https://1q7dqy2unor827bqjls0c4rn-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/SOS_Data_Report.pdf, (accessed Oct 2017).
33. Imkaan, ‘State of the Sector: Contextualising the current experiences of BME ending violence against women and girls organisations’, Imkaan, 2015, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_MKSoEcCvQweWY4cDJMeG1QTkk/view, (accessed Oct 2017).
34. E. Youle, ‘Islington domestic violence charity Solace Women’s Aid: Cash-strapped refuges are being forced to turn women away’, Islington Gazette, 26 October 2017, http://www.islingtongazette.co.uk/news/crime-court/domestic-violence-refuge-funding-cuts-islington-charity-says-women-are-dying-because-they-don-t-get-access-to-safe-beds-1-5252240, (accessed Oct 2017).
35. It is expected that as a result of Wales’ ‘Ask and Act’ statutory framework, there will be an increase in demand for services over the next five years. In addition, whilst the report was unable to gather full information the levels of provision and demand for sexual violence specialist services, one service that contributed has seen an increase in demand of 78% for one service area over a three year period: Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
36. In England and Wales between March 2015-16, there was an increase in reported domestic abuse crimes from 353,063 to 434,095, which is a 23% increase. ‘Crime in England and Wales: year ending Sept 2016’, Office for National Statistics, 19 January 2017, section 9. Recorded sexual offences have doubled since 2013. www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/crimeinenglandandwales/yearendingsept2016, (accessed 14 Nov 2017).
37. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
38. Welsh Government ‘Draft Budget 2018-19 Detailed proposals: A new budget for Wales’, Welsh Government, 4.28, p.22. http://gov.wales/docs/caecd/publications/171024-detailed-narrative-en.pdf, (accessed 01.11.17).
39. See all 19 reports: http://gov.wales/topics/improvingservices/public-services-boards/?lang=en (accessed 10 Nov 2017).
40. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/655990/Funding_supported_housing_-_policy_statement_and_consultation.pdf, (accessed 10 Nov 2017).
41. Data collected for: Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
42. Ibid.
43. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
44. Survivor case study, name has been changed.
45. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Summary of 2016/17 Data from Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
46. Ibid.
47. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
48. Ibid.
49. Y. Rehman, ‘Are you listening and am I being heard? Survivor Consultation: A report of the recommendations made by survivors of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, to inform the National Strategy in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2016. http://www.welshwomensaid.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Are_you_listening_and_am_I_being_heard_FINAL_July_2016.pdf, (accessed 19 Oct 2017).
50. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
51. Ibid.
52. While 500 survivors (456 women, 44 men) were unable to be supported because of as lack of service resources or capacity (whether this was because they were full, unable to meet support needs/due to complex needs, lacked accessibility for disabled survivors, lacked resources to support women unable to claim benefits), a total of 796 women and 51 men (including the 500 survivors above) were turned away from accessing refuge-based support for a wide range of reasons, from those listed above, to issues around no recourse to public funds, because they weren’t experiencing domestic abuse (for example, they may have been sexual violence survivors), for displaying abusive behaviour, because they were high risk (perpetrator may have know the location of the service user) etc.
Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Summary of 2016/17 Data from Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
53. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Summary of 2016/17 Data from Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
54. ‘Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence’, Council for Europe Publishing, 2012; Against Violence & Abuse (AVA) & Agenda, ‘Mapping the Maze: Services for women experiencing multiple disadvantages in England and Wales’, AVA & Agenda, 2017.
55. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
56. Survivor case study, name has been changed.
57. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Summary of 2016/17 Data from Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
58. Ibid.
59. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
60. Survivor case study, name has been changed.
61. Welsh Women’s Aid, Disability Wales and University of Glamorgan, ‘Domestic Abuse of Disabled Women in Wales’, 2011.
62. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Summary of 2016/17 Data from Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s’ Aid, 2017.
63. Ibid. N.B. No men were turned away from refuge due to lack of available disabled facilities.
64. Y. Rehman, ‘Are you listening and am I being heard? Survivor Consultation: A report of the recommendations made by survivors of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, to inform the National Strategy in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2016. http://www.welshwomensaid.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Are_you_listening_and_am_I_being_heard_FINAL_July_2016.pdf, (accessed 19 Oct 2017).
65. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Summary of 2016/17 Data from Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s’ Aid, 2017.
66. Against Violence & Abuse (AVA) & Agenda, ‘Mapping the Maze: Services for women experiencing multiple disadvantages in England and Wales’, AVA & Agenda, 2017.
67. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, 2017.
68. Y. Rehman, ‘Are you listening and am I being heard? Survivor Consultation: A report of the recommendations made by survivors of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, to inform the National Strategy in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2016. http://www.welshwomensaid.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Are_you_listening_and_am_I_being_heard_FINAL_July_2016.pdf, (accessed 19 Oct 2017).
69. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Summary of 2016/17 Data from Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
70. Against Violence & Abuse (AVA) & Agenda, ‘Mapping the Maze: Services for women experiencing multiple disadvantages in England and Wales’, AVA & Agenda, 2017.
71. Ibid.
72. Y. Rehman, ‘Are you listening and am I being heard? Survivor Consultation: A report of the recommendations made by survivors of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, to inform the National Strategy in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2016. http://www.welshwomensaid.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Are_you_listening_and_am_I_being_heard_FINAL_July_2016.pdf, (accessed 19 Oct 2017).
73. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Report to National Task and Finish Group to inform the development of a Model for Sustainable Funding for VAWDASV Specialist Services in Wales’, 2017.
74. See Change that Lasts model: Welsh Women’s Aid & Women’s Aid (England), ‘Change that Lasts: Transforming responses to domestic violence and abuse’, http://www.welshwomensaid.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Women_s_Aid_Change_that_Lasts_Summary-July_2015.pdf, 2015, (accessed 14 Nov 2017).
75. Y. Rehman, ‘Are you listening and am I being heard? Survivor Consultation: A report of the recommendations made by survivors of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, to inform the National Strategy in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2016, http://www.welshwomensaid.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Are_you_listening_and_am_I_being_heard_FINAL_July_2016.pdf, (accessed 19 Oct 2017).
76. Welsh Women’s Aid, ‘Summary of 2016/17 Data from Specialist Services in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2017.
77. Against Violence & Abuse (AVA) & Agenda, ‘Mapping the Maze: Services for women experiencing multiple disadvantages in England and Wales’, AVA & Agenda, 2017.
78. Y. Rehman, ‘Are you listening and am I being heard? Survivor Consultation: A report of the recommendations made by survivors of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, to inform the National Strategy in Wales’, Welsh Women’s Aid, 2016, http://www.welshwomensaid.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Are_you_listening_and_am_I_being_heard_FINAL_July_2016.pdf, (accessed 19 Oct 2017).

Our #AskMe pilot in Wales does just that (led by local specialist services), encourages community discussion, increases knowledge & understanding about domestic/sexual abuse & help available, & expands ways women can get help #ChangethatLasts twitter.com/EleriB/status/…

About 15 hours ago from WelshWomensAid's Twitter