Violence against women and girls funding review: analysis of responses

Analysis of the responses to the Strategic Review of Funding and Commissioning of Violence Against Women and Girls Services call for evidence.

Question 4.3

What role should the Scottish Government play in the provision of services to women, children and young people experiencing violence against women and girls?

258 responses were analysed for this question of which 183 were individuals and 75 were organisations. Of those organisations, 8 were local authorities/governments, 4 were NHS organisations, 44 were third sector organisations, and 19 were classified as "other" or did not specify. There were eight themes emerging from the qualitative analysis of the free-text responses to this question.

Theme 1: Provision of adequate long-term funding

The most prominent theme concerned the Scottish Government's role in providing funding to organisations and services for women, children and young people experiencing VAWG. Respondents felt that the Scottish Government should provide long term funding to enable organisations to plan and evolve depending on local needs. Some respondents also highlighted the need for ring-fenced funding dedicated specifically to services for women, children and young people experiencing VAWG.

"The Scottish Government should ensure that fair provision and funding of services are available for when and where and for how long people require it. There should be no postcode lotteries when it comes to access support. If a local authority area is experiencing a shortfall in funding to meet local demand when it comes to support provision for women and girls, it should step in with additional funding. The Government should coordinate maximising funding, so that it isn't salmi sliced or placed in funding pot silos which often result in a failure to create a greater impact. This also needs to be led by supply and demand, the Government should empower women and girls so that the funding follows them instead of the other way around." (Third sector organisation)

Theme 2: Single-sex services/facilities

Responses to this question frequently discussed the Scottish Government's role in ensuring the provision and availability of single-sex services and facilities to women, children and young people experiencing VAWG. Some respondents proposed to also have services available to trans individuals only and consider their particular needs when designing service provision.

"Protect the legal rights of women to single-sex spaces in order to be able to target support at victims of MVAWG[6]. Recognise how women who have been victims of MVAWG can be retraumatised by the presence of male bodies/voices, and uphold their rights to female spaces, support, carers, medical treatment." (Individual)

Theme 3: Leadership and development of policy and guidelines

A large number of respondents urged the Scottish Government to take a leading role, setting the policy agenda and raising the profile of the issue of VAWG. According to the respondents the Scottish Government should provide the overall national strategy and delivery plan, ensure the right allocation of resources, develop evidence-based policy and guidelines for local authorities, and set targets for local authorities that incentivise progress towards elimination of VAWG. A few respondents also mentioned that access to services for all ages is important and should be part of the policy agenda.

Some respondents also mentioned the that the Scottish Government should have in place a robust scheme for monitoring and evaluating services and should ensure that local authorities and agencies use best practice and detailed data in their decision-making process.

"The Scottish Government should set the policy agenda, then legislation if it is needed to deliver on this, however the right local resources and funding needs to be put in place to deliver on policy and legislation (not only national resources and funding)." (Gender Based Violence Partnership organisation)

Theme 4: Legislation and justice

Respondents highlighted Scottish Government's ability to legislate accordingly in order to further protect women, children and young people experiencing violence against women and girls. Under this theme, the Scottish Government is urged by respondents to review the legal framework regarding women, children and young people experiencing VAWG and implement changes to further promote their safety and wellbeing.

"There should be policies in relation to zero tolerance of GBV with employees across the public sector but this needs to be driven by legislation from the Scottish Government." (Third sector organisation)

"The Scottish Government needs to include the right communities when planning new legislation and policies, ensuring that a person-centred, gendered and trauma-informed approach is promoted, and there needs to be protection for particular communities so they can come forward to report abuse." (Third sector organisation)

Theme 5: Education and advocacy

The next most frequent theme focused on the importance of relevant education and its role in promoting a cultural shift away from VAWG. This included educational campaigns and curriculums that focus on early intervention and teaching people at a young age about relationships and domestic abuse, while being inclusive. Some respondents also felt that women's and girls' voices should be heard more and taken into account regarding the provision of services survivors of VAWG, especially individuals with relevant lived experiences.

"There is a need for more and better education about unhealthy relationships and domestic abuse which is preventative and starts early in formal education settings. The Scottish Government should ensure that Education should start early and focus on dismantling the root causes of abuse, supporting young people to recognise the signs of unhealthy relationships and supports that are available. They should be expansive and inclusive, ensuring young people with varied experiences are represented and LGBTQ+ relationships are included." (Third sector organisation)

Theme 6: Definition of women based on sex

Some responses to this question discussed the difference between sex and gender and mentioned that services should be available for female victims. Respondents stated that policy design should use the definition of women stated in the Equality Act 2010.

"The Scottish Government also needs to change its definition of what a woman is to "biological adult female human" - not anyone who defines themselves as a a woman - as that is not lawful in the UK." (Individual)

"They must provide single sex services as provided for under the Equality Act 2010." (Individual)

Theme 7: Appointment of trained specialists

The next theme concerned the need for trained specialists. Respondents suggested that the Scottish Government should appoint people who are trained and experienced in the field of GBV service delivery, trauma-informed approaches, GBV issues and challenges at a macro and micro level.

"Vulnerable people should only be served by those with appropriate and up-to-date knowledge and training." (Individual)

Theme 8: Safe housing

Lastly, a few respondents suggested that the Scottish Government should ensure social housing and housing arrangements should be available for victims of VAWG. Respondents described safe housing as refuge and emergency accommodations.

"More laws that all councils must have plans in place for women and girls of all ages are fast tracked for accommodation in their own town/city or to move to another area still be a priority. Children of all ages need support either in or out of school to help them settle and process what has happened and that all agencies work together with, and I mean with that person needing the support." (Individual)



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