Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy
This is a joint initiative between Trust for London and the Henry Smith Charity to strengthen the impact of recent developments in the domestic violence field, such as the establishment of Specialist Domestic Violence Courts. The initiative is supporting projects in four London boroughs, each in a different setting: a police station, an accident and emergency unit, a community centre, and with black and minority ethnic communities. All have appointed Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVAs) to work with high risk victims of domestic abuse.
To strengthen and improve the quality of Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy
Services in order to improve the safety and lives of victims of domestic violence.
- To create a more skilled domestic violence workforce.
- To prioritise work which identifies and supports high-risk victims.
- To develop models of best practice in developing independent advocacy at a local level in up to four London boroughs.
- To strengthen partnerships at a local level, particularly between established domestic violence organisations, statutory agencies and small black and minority ethnic women's groups.
- To contribute towards building an evidence base for assessing the cost-benefit analysis of IDVAS and to evaluate the merits of this model of provision.
- To inform the wider policy debate on support for victims of domestic violence by engaging with both local and national government, the Crown Prosecution Service, Metropolitan Police and other statutory and voluntary sector providers.
Trust for London and the Henry Smith Charity have jointly invested £1.3 million. With matched funding from statutory sources, this totals approximately £2 million. Funding has been awarded to:
- The Nia Project - £353,700 to establish an IDVA service in Hackney with a particular focus on the needs of black and minority ethnic women, especially Eastern European, Somali, Turkish-speaking and Vietnamese.
- Domestic Violence Support Services - £283,000 to strengthen its advocacy service, based in a police station in Barnet.
- Newham Action Against Domestic Violence - £243,800 to develop its advocacy service, based in a community centre.
- Victim Support, in partnership with Lambeth Women's Aid and the GAIA Centre - £326,500 to develop an IDVA service in the Accident and Emergency Department of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital.
More about this special initiative
More on the IDVA initiative
Achievements The overwhelming majority of the IDVAs' clients felt and were safer as a result of the support they received. Trust for London and the Henry Smith Charity received a special award from the Mayor of London in 2006, as...