Developing Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy Services (IDVAs) in London
Posted 5 January 2006
£1.6 million to tackle domestic violence In London
Allocations totalling £900,000 over three years – backed by match funding of £700,000 so far – have been announced by City Parochial Foundation (CPF) and the Henry Smith Charity in their new special initiative to strengthen and improve the quality of independent domestic violence advocacy services (IDVAs) in four London boroughs.
Both trusts already fund significantly in the domestic violence sector but were keen to adopt a more strategic approach in light of recent developments in the field and a recognition that good quality independent advocacy services can make a real difference to the safety and lives of victims of domestic violence.
The Mayor’s London Domestic Violence Strategy 2005 states that the Metropolitan Police Service attend around 300 domestic violence incidents every 24 hours; domestic violence is a feature in the lives of three-quarters of children on the child protection register; it is a significant factor in disputed child contact cases; and has a wider impact on a range of social issues. It has calculated the cost of all services relating to domestic violence in London (based on government published research, 2004) as approximately £435 million. The over-riding priority in the strategy is the development of Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy Services (IDVAs).
Davina James-Hanman, Director of the Greater London Domestic Violence Project commented: “This is a very timely initiative which has the potential to make a significant difference to the lives of women affected by domestic violence in London. I am delighted that City Parochial Foundation and the Henry Smith Charity are taking a strategic lead on this issue and it will inform the wider policy debate on the most effective ways of supporting victims of domestic violence. If successful this initiative will provide strong evidence for the development of Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy services across the country.”
The successful applicants each offer a different setting to deliver the service and have multi-agency risk assessment arrangements in place. It was also felt that there is potential to learn from each model through an external evaluation and this will also assess how effective this method of working is.
The allocations were announced at the launch of the annual report of the London Domestic Violence Forum held at City Hall on Monday 27 November 2006, at which CPF and the Henry Smith Charity were each presented with an Award by Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London for their initiatives in this field.
The successful applicants for the CPF grants are:
1. The Nia Project - £230,000 to establish an IDVA service in Hackney with a particular focus on the needs of black and minority ethnic women;
2. Domestic Violence Support Services - £180,000 to strengthen its advocacy service, based in a police station in Barnet;
3. Newham Action Against Domestic Violence - £158,000 to develop its advocacy service, based in a community centre;
4. Victim Support Lambeth, in partnership with Lambeth Women’s Aid and the GAIA Centre - £210,000 to develop an IDVA service in the Accident and Emergency Department of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital.
In addition, £80,000 has been allocated towards the costs of commissioning an independent evaluation of the programme and £30,000 towards a training programme for small, especially black and minority ethnic women’s groups.