Violence Against Women and Girls Services - funding and commissioning review: terms of reference - easy read

Easy read version of the terms of reference for the independent Violence Against Women and Girls Services review of funding and commissioning.

Violence Against Women and Girls Services: Review of Funding and Commissioning - Terms of Reference

This review was spoken about in the Scottish Parliament debate on 25 November 2021.

A debate is when an idea is talked about by people with different opinions.

It is called the Review of the Funding and Commissioning of Violence Against Women and Girls Services.

Violence Against Women and Girls Services are things like:

  • support/counselling
  • information and advice
  • housing
  • legal support
  • care

for women and children who are being hurt or harmed.

These services are also called specialist services.

What will the Review do?

The aim of the Review is to make sure that money is used in a way that is:

  • fair
  • well planned
  • agreed
  • long lasting

The specialist services will also:

  • be for children who are victims
  • be for young people who are victims
  • work on making these people safer

The Review will be based on human rights.

The Review will be fair.

It will use the Public Sector Equality Duty.

The Public Sector Equality Duty means that public authorities – like councils, police and schools – must think about how their work affects people with protected characteristics

Protected characteristics include:

  • age
  • having a disability
  • transgender - when someone does not identify as the sex on their birth certificate
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion
  • sex – for example female
  • what kinds of people someone has romantic feelings about – for example same sex couples

The Review will understand that women are more likely to be harmed than men. And that they will need extra support.

The Review will understand that it takes many organisations working together to make sure that services are able to help all areas of someone's life.

The Review will not look at services for the people who hurt or harm women, young people and children.

It will just focus on services for:

  • victims who are women
  • victims who are young people
  • victims who are children

What will the Review make suggestions about?

The Review will think about these 8 things and make suggestions about them.

1. Make a framework for the whole of Scotland which explains things like:

  • how to get services across the whole of Scotland
  • the basic levels of support and services

2. How to protect services in Scottish law.

3. Choose clear ways to explain the specialist services in a way that supports:

  • human rights
  • that women are more likely to be harmed than men

4. Making a plan to help Local Authorities and Health and Social Care organisations to choose and buy the services they need.

5. Looking carefully at how long funding happens for and how best to check that a good job is being done.

6. Making sure that people who have lived experience of violence can help with choosing services.

7. Looking at how local organisations that are against violence can help.

8. Checking that services link together so that everyone is treated equally.

Which work will the Review look at?

The Review will look at:

  • work that is happening now
  • work that has been done in the past

Some of this work is:

  • The Equally Safe Delivery Plan
  • a report by Baroness Kennedy
  • United Nations Conventions
  • the National Care Service
  • the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan
  • the Fairer Scotland Action Plan
  • the Child Poverty Delivery Plan
  • the Gender Equality Taskforce
  • work from the Victims Taskforce

How will the Review happen?  

Lesley Irving is in charge of the Review.

She is called the Chair.

Lesley Irving is independent.

In this document, independent means she will not be told by anyone else what to write or do.

Lesley Irving will:

  • talk with lots of partner organisations
  • have support from the Advisory Group
  • make sure that people with lived experience of the specialist services take full part in the Review

The Review will be finished by March 2023.

If you want to know more about the Review, you can email

Copyright images © Photosymbols. Prepared by Disability Equality Scotland



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