11.2 Commissioning

The role of commissioners and commissioning is crucial for the development and sustainability of specialist services for survivors and their children as well as services for perpetrators. This section will contain some of the key documents relating to the commissioning of specialist services, including women-only services.


National Quality Standards: for services supporting women and children survivors of domestic violence

Women's Aid Federation of England (2014)

These standards form a set of criteria through which dedicated specialist services addressing domestic violence perpetrated against women and children can evidence their quality.  They have been developed in response to the needs of members, and have been reviewed by individual member services.

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Securing Excellence in commissioning sexual assault services for people  who experience sexual violence

NHS England/Direct Commissioning/offender health (2013)

This document aims to support commissioners in delivering a consistent, high quality approach to the delivery of services that secure the best outcomes for victims of sexual assault and rape. NHS England will use the framework to drive local improvements in quality and outcomes and reduce health inequalities.

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Victims’ Services Commissioning Framework

The Ministry of Justice (2013)

This commissioning framework is a significant milestone in the evolving landscape for victims’ services as the move to a mixed model of local and national commissioning takes shape. The development of the commissioning framework forms part of the commitment the Government made last year in the consultation Getting it right for victims and witnesses to provide a systematic framework for commissioners of victims’ services.

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Sexual Violence Services: International Overview

Department of Health (2012)

This report provides an overview of the models of sexual assault service provision across several countries, including the United States of America (USA), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Nordic countries.

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The Cost of Domestic Violence: by local authority

Trust for London and the Henry Smith Charity (2011)

This spreadsheet uses the latest available estimates for the costs of Domestic Violence (Professor Sylvia Walby 2009) to calculate an estimated cost for each local authority area, based on the size of the 16-59 year old population.

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Cohesion and equality: guidance for funders

Equality and Human Rights Commission (2009)

The purpose of this guidance is to help public bodies, especially those providing funding at a local level, to discharge their equality duties. The Commission is aware of voluntary organisations losing funding because of their perceived single-issue focus, for example, in seeking to improve educational attainment levels among pupils from ethnic minority communities, or through providing targeted services required by women who have experienced domestic violence. See pages 13 - 15 for more information.

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Commissioning Domestic Violence Services: A Quick Guide

Women’s Aid Federation England and Wales (2009)

This document is designed as a guidance tool for commissioners and all those involved in the commissioning and procurement and provision of services for victims/survivors of domestic violence. Its aim is to ensure that contracts are awarded to providers delivering high quality services that fully meet the needs of survivors and their children.

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Inspecting for Quality in Domestic and Sexual Violence Service Provision

Audit Commission (2009)

This presentation gives an overview of the role of the Audit Commission and housing inspection and what they will be looking for in future inspections. It gives advice to local authorities as to what they should be looking for in quality domestic and sexual violence housing services and raises questions for the role of Supporting People and Comprehensive Area Assessments.

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Map of Gaps 2: the postcode lottery of Violence Against Women support services in Britain

Coy, M. et al. (2009)

Produced on behalf of End Violence Against Women (EVAW) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) the second report shows that in many parts of the country, services for women who have experienced violence are chronically underfunded or simply do not exist. This builds on the research in the augural Map of Gaps conducted in 2007.

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Not just bread, but roses, too: funding to the women’s voluntary and community sector in England in 2004-07

Women’s Resource Centre (2009)

This report was produced as part of the Why Women? Campaign and aims to determine the spread of the women’s voluntary and community sector across England, fields of work and equalities strands, and to identify trends over this period in relation to income and expenditure.

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Power and Impact of Women's Funds
Women’s Solutions + Innovation + Leverage = Social Change

Women's Funding Network (2009)

This highlights paper summarizes six recent reports about the impact, investment practices and
values of women’s funds.This report contains a significant body of evidence, collected over the period 2006-2009 and shows a remarkable consistency in findings that make a compelling case for the distinctive and valuable role of women's funds in accelerating social justice.

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The Cost of Domestic Violence: Up-date 2009

Walby, S (2009)

This report up-dates The Cost of Domestic Violence by Sylvia Walby published by the Women and Equality Unit, Department of Trade and Industry in 2004, from the year 2001 to 2008.

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Violence Against Women and Girls Ready Reckoner

The Home Office (2009)

the Ready Reckoner tool is a key action in the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy. Using findings from the British Crime Survey, it enables commissioners of services from a range of providers such as health, policing and housing, to estimate the need for local services for domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking in their area.

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A Hard Knock Life: Violence Against Women, A guide for donors and funders

New Philanthropy Capital (2008)

This report on violence against women shows donors that there are proven ways to keep women safe and help women recover from abuse.

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Briefing: Domestic Abuse Support Services and the removal of ring fencing from Supporting People

Scottish Women's Aid (2008)

This practioners' briefing Outlines the implications of removing ring fencing from Supporting People funding.

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Domestic abuse support services and the removal of ring fencing from supporting people

Scottish Womens Aid (2008)

This briefing outlines the implications of removing ring fencing from Supporting People funding.

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Local area agreements: real life successes, Oxfordshire: tackling domestic violence

Local Government Association (2008)

This factsheet details how the first round LAA was used to address domestic violence in Oxfordshire.

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The impact of commissioning and procurement on the women’s voluntary and community sector

Women’s Resource Centre (2008)

This briefing discusses the impact on the women’s voluntary and community sector (VCS) of the current trend towards commissioning services. A special focus on the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) shows how commissioning can, and often does, fail women and children due to the lack of consideration given to the different needs of women and children and the gender-neutral approach to the commissioning process.

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Funding of London Refuges

Women’s Resource Centre (2007)

Commissioned by London Councils and carried out by the Women’s Resource Centre, this research examined funding to women’s refuges in London. During April – June 2007, London boroughs and refuge providers were surveyed to determine the: range of services/support being delivered in and across boroughs; funding; cost variances in delivering services to different equalities groups of women; and types of support provided to women with no recourse to public funds.

Full report: click here

Executive Summary: click here


Local area agreements – what’s next?

Women’s Aid Federation England and Wales (2007)

This briefing gives an overview of Local Area Agreements and explains how they can be used to fund domestic and sexual violence services, giving guidance on how to be involved in the negotiation process.

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Why Women Only? The value and benefit of by women, for women services

Women’s Resource Centre (2007)

This report launches the second phase of Why Women? Campaign reflecting the increasing attention on women’s voluntary organisations to justify their existence, despite the fact that services are needed and wanted by women, and have significant, positive impacts on services and spaces.

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Addressing Alcohol Drugs and Domestic Violence through Local Area Agreements

Stella Project and Greater London Alcohol and Drugs Alliance (2006)

This briefing gives an explanation of how the older versions of the local area agreements work with the aims of serving as a tool for both the voluntary and statutory sector to lobby local partnerships negotiating targets in these areas. Although this was written before the introduction of the new set of 198 National Performance Indicators it still contains information of relevance.

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Vision for Services for Children and Young People Affected by Domestic Violence: guidance to local commissioners of children’s services

LGA, ADSS, Women’s Aid and CAFCASS (2006)

This publication offers a pathway for services for children which connects the visions set out in the Every Child Matters, the 2004 Children’s Act and the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004.

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Work to address domestic violence and local area agreements: where does it fit?

Local Government Association (2006)

This briefing was written in the early rounds of Local Area Agreements before the introduction of the new set of 198 National Performance Indicators, however it still contains information of relevance to developing LAAs.

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Making the Case for Domestic Violence Prevention Through the Lens of Cost-Benefit: A Manual for Domestic Violence Prevention Practitioners: and the State and Local Policy-Makers They Present to

Transforming Communities Technical Assistance Training and Resource Center (2006) USA

This manual is intended as a working document which is currently being piloted through workshops with violence against women organizations throughout California and the United States.

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What should my audit look like? – Methodology

Home Office (2004)

The audit and strategy process is essentially a piece of research; therefore it is important that it is based on sound research principles. This guidance is designed to introduce these principles, giving practical examples of how they can be followed within the audit and strategy process.

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Evaluating the Outcomes of Domestic Violence Service Programs: Some Practical Considerations and Strategies

Sullivan, C. and Alexy, C.

This article provides a summary of the key messages outlined in the US resource 'Outcome Evaluation Strategies for Domestic Violence Service Programs: A Practical Guide'. The manual was designed, not to discuss evaluation in the abstract, but to provide practical assistance and examples in designing and carrying out effective evaluation strategies specifically for domestic violence service providers.

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