Women's Aid

Charity Overview

Women’s Aid is the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children.  Over the past 40 years Women’s Aid has been at the forefront of shaping and coordinating responses to domestic violence and abuse through best practice. The charity empower survivors by keeping their voices at the heart of its programmes, working with and for women and children by listening to them and responding to their needs. Women’s Aid is made up of a federation of over 220 organisations who provide more than 300 local lifesaving services to women and children across the country. 

The charity 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 Women’s Aid quality standards. Women’s Aid campaign for change in policy, practice and awareness to encourage healthy relationships and help to build a future where domestic abuse is no longer tolerated. Through the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (run in partnership with another UK women’s charity Refuge) and the charity’s range of online services, which include the Survivors’ Forum, Women’s Aid help hundreds of thousands of women and children every year.

Project Summary

ICAP Safer Futures was set up following support from ICAP Charity Day in London, in 2013. It is a national project that builds networks between local schools, specialist domestic violence services and Local Authorities to ensure that healthy relationships education is delivered responsibly and effectively. Supporting children and young people to understand and recover from their own experiences is a fundamental part of preventing cyclic abuse.

We are incredibly grateful for ICAP’s generous support of the Safer Futures project – enabling us to provide essential education to help build a future where domestic abuse is no longer tolerated. Thank you for your generous support!
Polly Neate, CEO of Women’s Aid, Women’s Aid

The ICAP Safer Futures project consists of a national team of 45 volunteer Women’s Aid School Advocates who provide in-school support for teachers to deliver lessons using the Expect Respect Education Toolkit. The project aims to create a consistent and regulated approach in supporting schools to address domestic violence drawing on the expertise of specialist practitioners. Safer Futures ensures that, nationally, every child and young person is able to access healthy relationships education, should they need to. 

As a child I experienced my Mum going through domestic violence for 10 years. If these things were spoken about in school then it would allow children to open up and ask for help. I remember feeling very embarrassed as a child to talk to anyone about what was happening at home
Child survivor

So far Women’s Aid have trained 663 professionals who work with schools and children, and to date over 63,000 children have benefitted from the programme. Since 2014 4,000 teachers who are using the Expect Respect Education Toolkit have downloaded programme information free of charge from the Women’s Aid website. It has also been awarded the PSHE Association Quality Mark and has been promoted to more than 5,000 of its members.

As a charity with limited resources, we were very grateful to get all our staff trained through the ICAP Safer Futures project, especially with the mentoring and 1-1 work we engage in with young people. We found the resources really great, and the training to be able to see how activities can be adapted for youth work settings was invaluable. We also found that our staff have developed much more confidence in their ability to tackle more sensitive issues with young people, and after the workshop they were implementing some of the tools during sessions with young people. The confidence boost provided was invaluable
Feedback from participant

Support from ICAP has enabled Women’s Aid to:

• Provide professionals working in local domestic violence services with the tools and training to better support their local schools.

• Help teachers to feel confident in delivering lessons about domestic violence using the Expect Respect Educational Toolkit.

• Encourage young people to build healthy, respectful relationships, and identify abusive behaviours in themselves and others.

• Enable local domestic violence services to raise awareness and become further embedded in local communities.

ICAP Safer Futures will continue to support the network of School Advocates, and provide guidance and training to facilitate work within schools until March 2017. The charity will also be able to build on the learning from the Safer Futures project to scope and develop a plan for its future work with children and young people affected by domestic abuse