The Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) No More Project began in 2017 after funding was secured by a number of partners led by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland from the Home Office’s VAWG Transformation Fund. Whilst the project used the term VAWG, in line with Home Office guidance, the funding also included support to male victims. The project aimed to support the delivery of domestic abuse services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) in a manner that improved successful partnership working in respect of interventions around policing, outreach, therapeutic support and in Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. It was anticipated that VAWG No More interventions would provide an enhanced service user experience of service providers in LLR, through swifter processes in the form of streamlined pathways to therapeutic support, specialist assistance to victims of repeat offending, improved Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) formats which provide better opportunities for partnership working and BAME community champions employed to reduce barriers between communities and domestic abuse agencies.
- Continued investment in maintaining and developing improved partnership communication and working.
- Maintain momentum in gains made to better collaborative working amongst therapeutic service support providers. Continued reflection and co-operation about the operational co-ordination of referral pathways should continue. The aim should be to address the length of waiting lists, enabling victims’ speedier access to appropriate services.
- The funding received through the VAWG No More Project enabled greater support to be given to the MARAC Co-ordinator role, ensuring administrative tasks were undertaken by a MARAC administrator. Maintaining a MARAC Co-ordinator and administrator is important to the continued effectiveness of the MARAC.
- The up-skilled Assertive Outreach Team service resulted in more cases being completed than prior to this funding, with referrals continue to increase. Partners should ensure that appropriate resources are considered to maintain and grow this service.
- More communication and partnership building should be developed between domestic abuse services and the BAME communities. Champions are in place to help support victims to the point of referring to generic domestic abuse services. However, as volunteers they are likely to diminish in number and other means of generating communication and better partnerships between domestic abuse services and the BAME community will be needed.
The DMU researchers:
There is a cross-disciplinary team comprising of experienced academics from law, community and criminal justice departments.
Principal Investigator: Vanessa Bettinson, Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
Co-Investigator: Kevin Bampton, Professor of Public Law
Co-Investigator: Di Turgoose, Senior Lecturer in Community and Criminal Justice
Co-Investigator: Tracey Willets, Lecturer in Policing
Co-Investigator: Tina Billington-Hughes, Lecturer in Policing
Co-Investigator: Chris Alcott, Lecturer in Criminal Justice