Women’s Aid and SafeLives welcome government £2 million for domestic abuse intervention

Wednesday 25th November, 2015

Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, national domestic abuse charities Women’s Aid and SafeLives have welcomed £2 million from the Home Office to develop an early intervention project, ‘Sooner the Better’.

The Women’s Aid and SafeLives joint initiative will work towards supporting victims and their children at an earlier stage; to enable those affected by domestic abuse to receive help and support as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This joint initiative will work across 10 sites in England to:

  • Speed up the identification of domestic abuse and ensure victims and their families receive earlier help
  • Provide proactive support to the whole family in the round, not just individual family members in isolation – ensuring that the right intervention from the right professional is available
  • Understand and meet the needs of victim of domestic abuse, working towards long term recovery and independence
  • Ensure better evaluation of what works to make families safe, and keep them safe
  • Listen to women experiencing abuse, learning from their experiences and capturing the full costs of late intervention

Sooner the Better will result in the development of a replicable model which can be rolled out across the country from 2018.

Women’s Aid Chief Executive Polly Neate said:

“The £2 million funding from the government towards the new domestic abuse early intervention project, Sooner the Better, is fantastic news. It will enable us to improve early responses and ultimately help to save the lives of abused women and children. We are also pleased that the contribution from government forms parts of a wider £15 million pot for women’s organisations, which our national and local partners can apply for to support the lifesaving work that they are doing. However, today the Chancellor announced that this money will come from the taxation on sanitary products. Whilst we welcome this money being used to help women, especially at a time where the government are campaigning for sanitary tax to be zero rated, we need to be clear that domestic abuse is not just a women’s problem for taxation on women’s products to solve – it is an issue for everyone in society and men and women must address it together.”

SafeLives Chief Executive Diana Barran said:

“Our research shows that 85% of victims seek help five times before getting the right support to make them safe. This initiative will work to get it right first time for victims and their children, by listening to them and providing effective help sooner for the issues where they want help. The earlier the intervention, the less harm will be suffered by victims and children and the sooner we can support them to rebuild their lives. We welcome this funding and thank the government for their support in tackling domestic abuse. We look forward to working with Women’s Aid, our national and regional partners and the sector as a whole to improve our response to this national problem”.


For more information about Women’s Aid, please contact Alice Stride in the Women’s Aid Press Office on 0207 566 2511 or email [email protected]

For more information about SafeLives, please contact Head of Communications, Penny East on 07818 593 562 or email [email protected]



Notes to editors

Women’s Aid is the national charity for women and children working to end domestic abuse. We empower survivors by keeping their voices at the heart of our work, listening and responding to their needs. We are a federation of over 220 organisations who provide more than 300 local lifesaving services to women and children across the country. We provide expert training, qualifications and consultancy to a range of agencies and professionals working with survivors or commissioning domestic abuse services, and award a National Quality Mark for services which meet our quality standards. Our campaigns achieve change in policy, practice and awareness, encouraging healthy relationships and helping to build a future where domestic abuse is no longer tolerated. The 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (run in partnership with Refuge) and our range of online services, which include the Survivors’ Forum, help hundreds of thousands of women and children every year.

SafeLives is a national charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse. We combine support for local services with robust data and hard evidence.  We emerged from an urgent need to find better ways to help victims of domestic abuse. We train professionals, improve what happens on the ground, and use on expertise and data to inform policy at both local and national levels. For our first ten years, we focussed on improving help for victims at high-risk, but to end domestic abuse we have to change the whole system – for every victim, for every family.

In the year to June 2015, our work benefited over 67,500 high-risk victims and their 76,000 children. We have the largest database on domestic abuse in the UK, with 42,000 individual cases.

SafeLives research has found:

  • 100,000 people a year living with domestic abuse are at high-risk of being seriously injured or killed.
  • 130,000 children live with high-risk domestic abuse
  • 62% are directly harmed by the perpetrator
  • 60% feel they are to blame for the abuse

© 2019 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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