We want to listen to the experiences and views of women survivors from across Greater Manchester to make sure they can access the services they need.

 

What is the project?

We want to listen to the experiences and views of women survivors from across Greater Manchester to make sure they can access the services they need.

Figures from the Home Office indicate that 1 in 5 women aged 16-59 has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16. This would equate to approximately 280,000 women across Greater Manchester. When you add in women who may not identify the unwanted sexual contact they suffered as violence and women you were abused and exploited as children the actual number will be much higher.

As partners in the Voices of Survivors project we want to make sure that the voices of all these women are heard. We want to know what help they were able to get (if any) what worked for them and what didn’t.

Across Greater Manchester there are very few specialist services for women who have experienced sexual violence and exploitation, but we know that there are lots of other frontline organisations who women turn to for help and support.

We want to bring these organisations together identify any support they may need and develop links between us so we can create an effective network of support for Greater Manchester women.

We will make sure that the voices of women and of the frontline organisations they access are heard by policy makers, funders and services.

 

 

How are we going to do it?

We have developed a Questionnaire which can be completed online or on paper.

We will train women from a variety of communities to gather the experiences of women who may find it particularly difficult to get heard, including women whose first language is not English.

We will provide specialist training to partner organisations.

Fill in our questionnaire online   Questionnaire

We will run events providing opportunities in all 10 boroughs for women and other agencies to get together and share their ideas.

We will develop a directory of women’s organisations who can help.

 

Who we are

We are a partnership between Manchester Action on Street Heath, Manchester Rape Crisis and Trafford Rape Crisis working closely with Dr Kate Cook and Becky Clarke at Manchester Metropolitan University. More information can be found on our About VOS page.

About VOS

We are establishing a steering group which will include women with lived experience and representatives from health, the police, the combined authority and other women’s organisations.


 

Ethics of care statements:

Who we are

We are a group of feminist researchers and practitioners in the field of sexual violence. We all want to improve support for women who have experienced sexual violence.

Why we are doing this

We are concerned about gaps in service provision and that some women’s voices are missing from the debates. We are conducting this research because we have made an undertaking to our funders, Lloyds Bank Foundation to do this piece of work. More than this, we all want to improve services for women who are survivors of sexual violence, in Greater Manchester.

What we are doing

We are researching women’s experience of sexual violence and their views on services, in order to help everyone to design and deliver the services that women want and need.

How we are doing this

We have created a questionnaire, for women to complete. We will aim to make this as accessible as possible for women, across Greater Manchester. However we are also working on other ways to support women to participate in the research and we will add more detail on these, as we can.

About our funding

Voices of Survivors, Hearing Women for Change has been funded by the Lloyds Bank Foundation’s Transform Grants Programme. Here Lloyds explain why they set up the fund:

"Small, specialist charities are at the heart of delivering domestic and sexual abuse services in local communities. As experts in their field, with established relationships and trust with the community and survivors, they are often better placed than larger service providers to respond to their needs."

At the same time, growing funding pressures have hit small charities hard, limiting their scope and opportunity to innovate, conduct research, inform policy or develop new models of care for people experiencing abuse. In response, the Foundation developed a new one-off grants programme Transform, aimed at investing in those charities that have the potential to shape and influence the domestic and sexual abuse sector and lead to greater long-term impact.

Learn more

17 small and medium-sized charities across England and Wales have now been awarded a total £1.6 million investment as part of the Foundation’s Transform programme to stimulate innovation and improvements in national policy and practice.

Alongside the grants made, the Foundation will continue to support this cohort of charities, providing a clear space for them to collaborate with each other, share best practice and create a stronger voice for small charities to influence wider policy and practice.

"We have a long and successful history of funding local and specialist charities who offer critical support to people experiencing domestic and sexual abuse in communities across England and Wales."

Paul Streets, CEO of Lloyds Bank Foundation