A Safer Pair of Hands: BME and specialist Violence Against Women and Girls work

A Safer Pair of Hands: BME and specialist Violence Against Women and Girls work

A new insights briefing from the Women and Girls Initiative.

A Safer Pair of Hands is an insights briefing, designed to support specialist Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Violence against women and girls (VAWG) services. It has been developed for use in influencing work with commissioners and policy makers and in conversations within the women’s sector.

It includes:

  • what is specialist about BME women’s organisations;
  • what is different for the women seeking support; and
  • what is distinct about advocacy at BME women’s organisations.

A Safer Pair of Hands was jointly written by the 11 group members of the Women and Girls Initiative (WGI) BME Action Learning Set, funded through The National Lottery Community Fund’s Women and Girls Initiative (WGI). It draws on over 30 years of members’ shared experiences and expertise in supporting women and girls and of funding and commissioning regimes. The ALS was facilitated by Professor Liz Kelly and Sukwhant Dhaliwal from CWASU as part of the WGI Learning and Impact Services.

Currently, most funding frameworks fail to recognise what is different and specific about the services provided by BME VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) organisations: treating everyone the same presumes that all groups have similar starting points: that it is a level playing field. This briefing paper argues that this is not the case, that to be equitable requires recognising systemic inequities, and that to do so will ensure that frameworks and decisions can be more informed. 

A Safer Pair of Hands is the sixth public output of the Learning and Impact Services. All of the work undertaken as part of the WGI Learning and Impact Services has been funded as part of a £44.7million investment into the WGI, using funds raised through the National Lottery. This funding is supporting 62 organisations across England to empower women and girls, in order to provide dedicated support for women and girls in local communities through outreach, advice and advocacy, refuge and prevention projects.

Additional support for WGI grant-holders, through the Learning and Impact Services, was contracted by the National Lottery Community Fund, in recognition that there is a need to empower projects to provide strong evidence of what works when supporting women and girls, ensuring they have the confidence, skills and ability to share inspirational stories and communicate their successes and learning. 

This support is being delivered by three partner organisations: Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR), DMSS Research (DMSS) and the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU).

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