We recognise that some sectors of society can experience multiple forms of discrimination and disadvantage or additional barriers to accessing support, including women and girls from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities. The Government’s Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy includes the commitment to promote understanding of the needs of BME women who are victims of VAWG and support commissioners to provide appropriate support.
VAWG services are mainly commissioned at a local level as we recognise that Police Crime Commissioners, local authorities and health commissioners are best placed to identify and meet local needs, including those of BME women and girls. However, we also recognise the importance of national standards and in December 2016 we published a VAWG National Statement of Expectations (NSE). The NSE sets out a clear blueprint for local action and is supported by the Commissioning Toolkit to support good local practice. The NSE states that local areas must put the victim at the centre, and have sufficient local specialist support provision, including provision designed specifically to support BME victims, as well as that commissioners should work with local specialist partners, and map out local women’s support groups, including those led by and for BME women. This is in keeping with the Public Sector Equality Duty.
Over this spending review period, we are providing £100m of dedicated VAWG funding, inclusive of £17m through the VAWG Service Transformation Fund. The fund, which runs from April 2017 to March 2020, will support, promote and embed the best local practice and drive major change across all services so that early intervention and prevention, not crisis response, is the norm. The Service Transformation Fund is funding 41 projects, of which over £6m is being provided across 14 projects that include specific BME provision. In addition, the Home Office has provided £100k to IMKAAN to help the capability and capacity of BME service providers, and over £2m has been provided through the Tampon Tax to projects that specifically fund specific BME focussed provision.