Women’s Aid responds to the Brighton and Hove report on learnings of commissioning
Farah Nazeer, chief executive of Women’s Aid said:
“Women’s Aid is pleased to see councils recognising the importance of specialist commissioning and social value frameworks. This is a positive step for survivors and the sector that works hard to support them.
“Across the country, complex commissioning frameworks are negatively impacting on specialist domestic abuse services, often further marginalising those that are run ‘by and for’ Black, minoritised and migrant women. Specialist services are best placed to deliver holistic, wrap-around support and have built long-term trust with the communities in which they work. Ensuring a values and outcome focused approach is essential if councils are to commission the right local services for women and children.
“Currently, many survivors cannot access the support that they need, when they need it. Survivors of domestic abuse have suffered enough and it is essential that quality-accredited, specialist support is provided for them. Without this, women and children will not be able to transition into safe and settled lives, which poses further harm to survivors and displaces the cost to public services such as the police and NHS.
“For survivors in Brighton and Hove the improved approach to commissioning will take several years to be implemented, but we ask those commissioners and authorities who have the opportunity to act sooner, to consider what they can do now.
“To achieve the ambitions of the government’s Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan, while getting the best value for money from the public purse, commissioning must be informed by specialist domestic abuse expertise. Commissioners should have a robust consultation process to ensure survivors and service providers can share their views and experiences. We hope to see other councils learning from this in the future, to ensure that support can be provided to all women and girls who have experienced domestic abuse.”