Annual review 2016
“Thanks to the support we receive from survivors of domestic abuse themselves, including our Survivor Ambassadors, and from our Federation of local services, we have seen our influence grow over the past year.”
Polly Neate, CEO of Womens’ Aid, introduces our Annual Review 2015-2016
Perhaps most important, our continued campaign to save life-saving refuges and other specialist services from further closure resulted in the government announcing an additional £40 million funding for domestic abuse services.
In partnership with courageous survivor Claire Throssell, whose two sons were killed by their father who had been given unsupervised contact despite a known history of domestic abuse, we launched our Child First campaign to put children’s safety back at the heart of decisions in the family courts.
We saw the new criminal offence of coercive and controlling behaviour come into force – and increased awareness and understanding of coercive control through our advisory role with BBC Radio 4’s The Archers and other campaigning.
Change takes time and joint effort. Local services still face closure and devastating cuts in some areas. We’ve proved we can make change happen. If you want to be part of it, join our network of Campaign Champions, also launched this year. Or support our work financially by becoming a Key Supporter. Survivors need us all.
Message from the Board: Femi Otitoju and Beverley Pass, Co-Chairs
Many months ago now, the Women’s Aid Board of Trustees took a difficult and brave decision. We heard overwhelming evidence from survivors themselves and from our Federation of local services that agencies across the public sector and beyond still fail to listen to survivors, meet their needs, or support them to achieve long term recovery and independence. So we decided to invest Women’s Aid’s precious reserves in developing a ground-breaking new model.
The result was Change that Lasts, and we ended the 2014/15 financial year (after a long journey) finally in a position to start piloting the approach, thanks to the Big Lottery Fund, the government, Public Health England and the Lankelly Chase Foundation.
Building on the 40-year experience and expertise of our local services, Change that Lasts puts the strengths and needs of women at the centre of decisions about them and their families (find out more on page 16-17).
Watch this space. We have more to learn as we go, of course, but we are determined to show what meeting survivors’ needs really means.