Archive for June, 2013

June 15, 2013

Insta-Policy – Fill in the gaps to find your dream policy to address violence against women and girls

Below is an extract from a recent Select Committee Report.  Fill in the gaps to create your dream policy….

“We welcome [name of department] new [£25m] Research and Innovation Fund for violence against women and girls…

However, there is a balance to be struck. Given the relatively limited evidence about ‘what works’ to prevent violence against women and girls in different contexts, it is important that the [fill in your choice here] Department does not rush into large-scale violence against women and girls programming with unrealistic expectations about timeframes and results. Research into violence against women and girls, as well as programming, needs to have realistic timeframes, in recognition of the time needed to bring about and measure complex social change. We recommend that [name of department] take a lead by investing in longer-term, flexible and phased programming involving piloting, integrated research and analysis, and gradual scale-up of programmes and evaluation. Programmes to tackle violence against women and girls should have a minimum 5-year timeframe and realistic results frameworks (including using interim and process indicators) in recognition that follow-up phases are likely to be needed and long-term impacts may only be realised after 10-plus years. 


It is important that [name of department’s] programmes seek to tackle domestic violence, and that they are targeted at household level, given that social norms and behaviours are largely formed here. The review also indicates that [name of department] should seek better to integrate violence with its work with children and social protection programmes.

Honesty check: 1. The bold text is mine; 2. I removed one word – internationally.

Sounds radical doesn’t it?!!

For more info go to: 

Where else might these principles apply??……(exit stage left, thoughtfully….)

June 6, 2013

Finding (and funding) the ‘hidden 50,000’…

Yesterday we published our first policy briefing note about the value of hospital based Independent Domestic Violence Advisors or IDVAs. 

This research, which we have called Themis* (see below for explanation), is analysing the work of 6 hospital based IDVA services. The hypothesis behind the research is that roughly half of the 100,000 high risk victims in this country will be identified through the police.  That leaves a ‘hidden 50,000’ who we need to identify or they will find it hard, or even impossible to access timely support.

So what do our early findings show?  The hypothesis looks promising.  We have taken data from our Insights performance measurement service ( ), comparing hospital and non-hospital cases.  We analysed 257 cases and found that hospital IDVAs are typically reaching:

  • more vulnerable groups, with almost 20% of cases being teenagers
  • at an earlier stage in the abusive relationship (2.5 years rather than 3 years)
  • victims who are frequently unknown to other agencies, including the police.  

Today, there are just a handful of locations where domestic abuse practitioners are based in a hospital.  We believe that this is a huge opportunity to improve the response to victims of domestic abuse, reduce the strain on emergency departments through reduced admissions and save public funds. If we are going to find the ‘hidden 50,000’ we need many more hospitals and commissioners to understand the value of this approach. In our policy report, A Place of Greater Safety, we called for national coverage of IDVAs in A&E departments.  

This evidence just turned up the volume on our call.

*Themis was the Greek goddess of justice.  We wanted to name the project after the daughter of Hestia (goddess of hearth and home), which was the name of the trust that part funded the Safety in Numbers evaluation.  Unfortunately, we found out that Hestia was eaten by her father at birth – so no daughters existed!  The irony is not lost on us….