The city and county has been awarded a share of £17 million of government funding to help prevent and address violence against women and girls, receiving just under £446,000 over the next three years.

40 projects across England and Wales have been given cash as part of the ‘Violence Against Women and Girls’ Transformation Fund, which will go towards a range of activities to support victims; work with perpetrators of abuse to change their behaviour; and to help children affected by what they have witnessed.

Specialist help will also be made available for the most vulnerable victims, including providing support for those with complex needs, such as substance misuse problems or poor mental health. It will also support female survivors of Honour Based Violence (HBV), Forced Marriage (FM) and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Victims and survivors of stalking and harassment, sexual violence, abuse, trafficking, Child Sex Exploitation (CSE) and women involved in prostitution will all benefit. Survivors at risk from multiple perpetrators (including girls and young women affected by gangs or modern slavery) and women and girls from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&T) women, disabled women, victims of childhood sexual abuse, and female offenders who have also been victims of violence and abuse will benefit from this funding.

The cash will transform Domestic and Sexual Abuse services across Nottingham/shire by ensuring they are consistent and co-ordinated and provide equal access to high quality services for all. These changes will enable stronger survivor recovery and reduce the risk of psychological and physical harm by increasing early intervention and prevention.

This money will help to fund initiatives including:

  • Raising awareness of support available and supporting children and young people or directing a survivor to support or information.
  • Raising awareness and knowledge with businesses to ensure earlier intervention and accurate advice and support is given to survivors.
  • Prevention via healthy and respectful relationship programmes with young people in secondary schools.
  • Early Intervention programmes with young people at risk of harmful or concerning behaviours or from abuse.
  • Direct support and advocacy to high risk survivors of domestic abuse who are at multiple disadvantage, including complex needs.
  • Direct support to survivors of sexual violence and abuse and their families including those with complex needs particularly through the criminal justice system.

This was a joint bid from Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, The University of Nottingham, Women’s Aid Federation of England, Women’s Aid Integrated Services (WAIS), Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services (formerly Rape Crisis Nottinghamshire) and Equation.

Councillor Toby Neal, Portfolio Holder for Community and Customer Services at Nottingham City Council, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding and it will go a long way to helping so many people. Violence and abuse can destroy the lives of victims, their families and those closest to them. Protecting women and girls from violence, and supporting victims and survivors, is incredibly important and it needs a joined-up, collaborative response locally, providing support to victims through health, education and social care, as well as the police.”

Geoff Hamilton, Public Health and Commissioning Manager said: “This funding is an excellent example of partners working together to support survivors of domestic and sexual abuse and violence. In the County we will particularly be aiming to reduce the risk of psychological and physical harm by reaching young people 13+ through promoting healthy and respectful relationships and targeted prevention work.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “It has taken far too long for us as a society to confront the realities of domestic abuse and sexual violence. So many women and girls, and men too, suffer at the hands of abusive partners and it is up to each and every one of us to play a part in showing it won’t be tolerated anymore.

“I have been enormously impressed at the way different organisations, the police, health and local councils, are coming together across Nottinghamshire to tackle this issue and this money will help enhance support and help for victims.”

The Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Service Transformation Fund is designed to support earlier intervention and prevention so that fewer women reach crisis point.