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 16

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

This question comprised 169 responses, consisting of 115 responses by individuals and 54 by organisations. The organisations that answered this question included 8 local authorities/governments, 1 NHS organisation, 32 third sector organisations, and 13 classified as "other" or did not specify. There were five themes emerging from the qualitative analysis of the free-text responses to this question

Theme 1: Definition of women based on sex

The most common theme in this question was disagreement over the definition of women as per the call for evidence document. Specifically, respondents believed that the definition used is unlawful and the correct definition should exclude trans women and men who identify as women.

"You can not begin to seriously help women until you acknowledge our existence and treat single sex women as a protected group. This is not to diminish the rights of anyone else but it should not be done to the detriment of single sex women." (Individual)

Theme 2: Single-sex spaces

The second most common theme was the need for single sex spaces. In particular, respondents in this theme emphasised that victims of VAWG feel safe only in single-sex spaces and when the support is offered by women workers. This theme was often linked with the disagreement over the definition of women, as some respondents believed that trans women and men identifying as women should be excluded from single-sex spaces.

"This exercise is pointless while the Scottish Government operates under the legal fiction of self-identification of sex and ignores its obligations under the Equality Act to protect the single-sex spaces and services needed by females of all ages. Anything less is to force women and girls to self-exclude, and make them even more vulnerable." (Individual)

Theme 3: Funding

The third most frequently mentioned theme was the need for further funding. Respondents used this question to reiterate the importance of adequate funding regarding the quality and consistency of VAWG services.

"There is some fantastic work being undertaken by VAWG partnerships across the country who are all working together with specialised third sector organisations such as Sacro. It is essential that these are adequately and realistically funded. Those receiving funding should be scrutinised and evaluated to ensure they are providing gold standard services and achieving their stated outcomes." (Third sector organisation)

Theme 4: Partnerships and collaboration

The next most common theme was the importance of partnerships and collaboration. According to the respondents, VAWG is a multi-faceted problem which cannot be addressed by a single organisation or with a single intervention. As a result, it was believed that close collaboration between public and third sector organisations is required in order to improve the quality of services.

"Finally, there needs to be more strategic alignment, collaboration and discussion in ensuring that the services funded through the SG directly are meeting the needs of universities and colleges for those services. We recognise the role universities and some colleges can play in resourcing the services directly, but a more joined up approach across Scotland is required in order to ensure the needs of all women and girls are met." (Organisation)

Theme 5: Listen to victims

The last prominent theme was the need to collect and take into account feedback from victims and survivors of VAWG. This was primarily mentioned in relation to coproduction, and evaluation of services.

"[…] believe that a key element of tackling VAWG is the partnership between local authorities key public and third sector organisations. Working in collaboratively to design services to meet the local need. These discussions should also include survivors themselves who know best what survivors both need and would like to see to assist them in dealing with violence and sexual abuse. This was a key priority during the lockdown period and specific guidance (Coronavirus (COVID-19) Supplementary National Violence Against Women Guidance) was produced we would like to see a similar approach for the longer term." (Third sector organisation)



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