Violence Against Women and Girls - Independent Strategic Review of Funding and Commissioning of Services minutes: January 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group held on 25 January 2023.

Attendees and apologies


  • Lesley Irving

Advisory Group attendees

  • Dr Claire Houghton  
  • Katie Cosgrove
  • Katie Kelly
  • Malcolm Chisholm
  • Mukami McCrum


  • Jane McAteer
  • Rhona Gowans 


  • Professor Angela O’Hagan
  • Professor Philomena De Lima

Items and actions


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting, followed by a review of the minutes from the previous meeting. The advisory group (AG) accepted these as an accurate record of Meeting 7.


  • Secretariat to upload minutes to the Review’s webpage

Chair update: participation and engagement

The Chair flagged that the analysis report of the Review’s Call for Evidence will be published online on the 31 January 2023. Alongside this an easy read version and BSL translation of the report will be published.

The Chair discussed the engagements undertaken since the December AG meeting. The Review met representatives from several organisations including the Scottish Human Rights Commission, Scottish Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland, and the Kenyan Women in Scotland Association. The Review also met experts involved in the JUSTSIGNS2 research project to hear about their work with Deaf/deaf women experiencing gender based violence and their interactions with support services. Alongside meetings with organisations, the Review participated in two lived experience events with members of the Safe Lives Authentic Voice Panel and with Gypsy Traveler Women.

The Chair gave an overview of upcoming meetings planned in the Review’s programme of engagement until the middle of February after which engagement will be wound down to allow time for reflection and consideration of all the evidence submitted to the Review.

Presentation – the role of Violence Against Women Partnerships (VAWPs)  

There was a presentation on the role of VAWPs by the Chair and Vice Chair of the VAWP Network, and the Independent Chair of the Dundee VAWP.

The presenters elucidated how expectations and standards for VAWPs are created and measured (Equally Safe Quality Standards and Performance Framework) and provided a picture of the reality of this through the dissemination of key performance indicators gathered from a survey conducted of all the local VAWPs. Next, the presenters explained the key challenges for VAWPs and put the discussion into context by reflecting on two successful examples of VAWPs, one rural, one urban. The presenters concluded the discussion by sharing key messages and solutions to challenges.

The Chair thanked the presenters and commended them on the work they are doing in their respective VAWPs, highlighting the important role VAWPs play in tackling violence against women and girls. A wide ranging discussion on the presentation followed.

The AG reflected on the VAWPs’ commitment to a ‘no egos’ approach, in which they valued collective leadership, partnership working and collaboration. The group specifically highlighted the value of the Scottish Borders VAWPs' collaboration with the delivery group of Public Protection Committee, and the Dundee VAWP’s integrated public protection approach, particularly in relation to the interface between child protection and the Alcohol and Drugs partnership.

The AG also discussed the Gendered Services approach which has been adopted in Dundee and noted the importance of the focus on lived experience engagement in informing the VAWPs’ design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation.


  • AG members to provide the Secretariat with follow-up questions for the presenters

Chapters for the report: allocation of topics and drafting schedule

The Chair presented the AG with a proposed draft of chapters for the report. A discussion followed regarding the chapter topics and the Chair and the AG agreed to the allocation of drafting responsibility for the agreed sections based on the expertise of each member. An AG member volunteered to review the evidence gathered to date and pull out key themes.

The group suggested that the February AG meeting should be dedicated to the allocation of the remaining chapters and beginning to work-out the Review’s recommendations. The March session will remain dedicated to further considering and agreeing the recommendations.

The AG considered the timescales required to publish the final report and agreed a drafting schedule based on this.


  • AG members to begin drafting sections that were agreed
  • AG member to review the evidence gathered to date and pull out key themes

Agenda for next meeting

The proposed date (Wednesday 15 February)  is now a UCU strike date. The group therefore agreed to change the February meeting date and also agreed to extend the length of the meeting to accommodate extra time for chapter allocation and considering the Review’s recommendations.


  • Secretariat to send out more dates for the February session to ensure every AG member can attend

Any other business


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