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 12

How can women, children and young people who have experienced violence against women and girls be meaningfully included in the co-design/evaluation of services?

196 responses were analysed for this question of which 125 responses were submitted by individuals and 71 by organisations. The organisations that answered this question included 8 local authorities/governments, 3 NHS organisations, 41 third sector organisations, and 19 classified as "other" or did not specify. There were four themes emerging from the qualitative analysis of the free-text responses to this question.

Theme 1: Sharing experiences and consulting

The most common theme in this question was the belief that survivors of VAWG should be included in the co-design and evaluation of services by sharing their experiences. In particular, answers emphasised that only those who have experienced VAWG can understand what works and what needs to be improved in the design of services for individuals experiencing VAWG. Consequently, respondents believed that survivors should play a critical role in the evaluation of services, both during and after their use. To incentivise survivors to share their stories, some respondents suggested the use of monetary incentives, while others proposed informing survivors that their opinion will be used for the future improvement of the service.

"We need to develop systems which survivors can access and dip into, but also inform. Women want to tell their stories but need the assurance they will be listened to and heard. Ensuring an ongoing open conversation on VAWG in all areas of society should be everyone's responsibility." (Third sector organisation)

Theme 2: Focus groups and survivor panels

The second most frequently mentioned theme concerned the means of engagement and collecting the feedback from survivors. The most common suggestions were focus groups and panels such as an Authentic Voice Panel. Respondents considered this could be an appropriate way for survivors to provide useful information regarding service delivery, unmet needs and good practices. Other suggestions included surveys and consultations.

"Steering groups for each organisation made up of survivors, with actual structural power - eg voting rights on the Boards." (Third sector organisation)

"Range of ways that consultation can be carried out. Internal audits in services; surveys of service users; focus groups etc." (Third sector organisation)

Theme 3: Single-sex spaces

The third most common theme was the need for single-sex spaces. Respondents mentioned that victims of VAWG would feel significantly safer and encouraged to seek help if all services were single sex.

Theme 4: Recruitment and training

The next most frequent theme was involving survivors in the recruitment and training of workers. Specifically, some respondents believed that survivors of VAWG have first-hand experiences of the current services, as a result they should be involved not only in the design of services but also in their delivery. Respondents believed this could be achieved by involving survivors in the recruitment and training of workers, thus allowing them to share best practice with workers and selecting the most appropriate ones.

"Involved in staff recruitment, awareness raising and training." (Third sector organisation)



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