London mayor announces additional £3m fund to address violence against women, girls
This initiative concentrates on aiding organisations dedicated to eradicating violence against women and girls in minority-ethnic communities and other minoritised groups, including the LGBTQ+ community
Mayor Sadiq Khan has unveiled a fresh addition of £3 million in funding aimed at supporting grassroots initiatives combatting violence against women and girls in London.
This funding boost seeks to bolster projects offering essential services to women and girls dealing with domestic abuse and sexual violence, a press release said.
During a visit to Kiran Support Services in Waltham Forest, a local grassroots charity benefiting from City Hall funding, Khan marked the second phase of the mayor’s Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Grassroots Fund.
This initiative concentrates on aiding organisations dedicated to eradicating violence against women and girls in minority-ethnic communities and other minoritised groups, including the LGBTQ+ community.
This action comes in response to concerns raised by charitable organisations that the current cost-of-living crisis is exacerbating difficulties for women attempting to escape abusive situations.
Many women find themselves torn between enduring abuse or facing financial hardship.
The newly launched round of grants, which aims to aid the most vulnerable, is now open, bringing the mayor’s total support for grassroots groups to £6 million.
This funding will potentially benefit up to 45 projects across London, offering crucial support services such as counseling, safe accommodations, and legal advice to thousands of women, girls, and families.
The move reflects the mayor’s ongoing commitment to addressing violence against women and girls from a public health perspective.
Applications for a two-year grant, (November 2023 – November 2025) offering support of up to £100,000 for individual organisations, will remain open until the end of the month.
The Fund will provide two-year grants of up to £100,000 (£50,000 per year) for individual organisations.
Partnerships of up to three organisations can apply for two-year grants of up to £120,000 (£60,000 per year).
Applications close at 12 noon on 30 August 2023 and decisions on grantees are due to be announced in November 2023.
The mayor encourages grassroots projects across London to submit their applications through the London Community Foundation website.
Since 2020, the mayor’s grassroots Fund has already assisted over 40 projects, impacting the lives of more than 30,000 individuals in need.
This funding is part of the mayor’s comprehensive £117 million investment to combat violence against women and girls, aiming to save lives, tackle waiting lists, and provide crucial support services during the cost-of-living crisis.
During his visit to Kiran Support, the mayor observed firsthand how City Hall grants are aiding small grassroots projects in their efforts to continue offering essential services to vulnerable women, girls, and families.
The mayor emphasised, “The rising cost of living is having an unprecedented impact on women and children experiencing domestic abuse and, on the life-saving services they need. Local grassroots services know their communities and are best placed to help, but they need support to survive these challenging times.”
Kate Markey, chief executive of the London Community Foundation praised the initiative for recognising and supporting grassroots organisations working with survivors from minoritised communities.
She highlighted the importance of addressing the layered challenges that women face due to factors such as poverty, race, culture, and more.
Amtal Rana, CEO of Kiran Support Services, highlighted the vital role of the London Community Foundation MOPAC VAWG Grassroots Funding received by Kiran during 2021-2023.
This funding was crucial in sustaining their community outreach efforts for south Asian women and girls who are survivors of VAWG.
Kiran, a grassroots charity led by south Asian women for south Asian women, serves as a lifeline for vulnerable and marginalised individuals.
The grant enabled Kiran to provide support to 718 women from August 2021 to March 2023. Without this funding, these women might have been directed to general services with limited support and inadequate understanding of the intricate intersectional needs of south Asian women.
The absence of proper support might have led many of these women to return to abusive environments.
As a small charity dependent on voluntary contributions and grants, the recognition and support from the VAWG Grassroots Fund held significant importance for Kiran.
The mayor’s Violence Against Women and Girls Grassroots Fund, initiated to provide financial resilience to small community organisations striving to end violence against women and girls (VAWG) and support victims and survivors, is part of the larger strategy to tackle these issues.
The 2023-25 Fund expands on the success of the initial £3 million fund awarded to 41 organisations from 2021-23.
Key priorities for the Fund include focusing on black minority ethnic organisations dedicated to ending violence against women and girls, women’s community organizations emphasising the cessation of such violence, and specialist community organisations providing services to combat violence against women and girls.
The mayor’s multifaceted approach to tackling violence against women and girls includes significant investment, a thought-provoking campaign called ‘Have A Word,’ and the promotion of a public health perspective.
Last month, Khan introduced the second phase of the #HaveAWord campaign, encouraging men to engage in the “Say Maaate to their mates” initiative.
This innovative campaign is designed to empower men and boys to intervene with confidence when they encounter language and behaviour directed towards women and girls that is inappropriate.
As a component of this fresh campaign, the mayor unveiled an interactive short film, intended to serve as a practical tool in discerning the appropriate time, place, and manner to address such inappropriate language.
The mayor is also allocating £1 million, to finance the development of an education toolkit, accessible to every secondary school in London. The toolkit aims to aid schools in identifying and addressing instances of sexist and misogynistic behaviour.
A further investment of £17.7 million is being directed toward support services. This includes the establishment of a specialised response mechanism, ensuring that all victims have equitable access to both justice and support services.
Efforts are also being undertaken to restore trust and confidence in the police and the criminal justice system.
These measures are geared towards providing victims with the necessary support and empowerment to attain the justice they rightfully deserve.
Khan urges society to collectively take responsibility and encourages men and boys to change their attitudes and behaviours toward women.
Through this comprehensive approach, the mayor aims to create a safer London for everyone.