Women’s Centres like Anawim are a response to the well-evidenced need for gender-specific, trauma-informed services.
Many of us provide access to specialist advocacy, advice and support on housing, substance misuse, mental and physical health, employment, debt, domestic abuse and family and parenting issues.
The major drivers of women’s offending include mental health, housing, debt, employment, substance abuse, and domestic and sexual violence and abuse. You can find more information about women’s experiences of the criminal justice system in Day 9 of our 16 Days Campaign.
On top of providing women with the holistic, community-based support that many need and all deserve, we also save money.
The Women’s Budget Group Report provides the following insights:
- A place at a Woman’s Centre ranges from £1,223 to £4,125 per woman depending on needs, whilst a place in prison costs £52,121
- It is estimated that £1.7bn is spent on issues linked to female offending, whilst in the long term £2.84 is saved for every £1 spent on women’s centres
- The Women’s Centre model shows one centre making a saving of £18 million over a 5-year period.
In addition, the Government’s own evidence shows that Women’s Centres offer considerable benefits in reducing the costs of reoffending and repeat victimisation.
However, the benefits delivered by the Women’s Centre model are not even close to being realised as a result of inadequate funding.
What is the situation with funding?
Women’s Centres face a £10m gap in core funding for the year from March 2021, according to an initial review of 15 women’s service providers.
For many, this lack of sustainable funding and the inability to plan beyond the short-term risks the closure of vital support services for many women.
You can read the Women’s Budget Group Report here, which recommends a model of matched funding in which central and local government share the costs of delivering the objectives outlined in the Government’s Female Offending Strategy.
The sector was extremely disappointed by the decisions made in November’s Spending Review which failed to address the need for sustainable funding, instead pledging to spend £4 billion on new prison places.
However, we are constantly uplifted by the continuing support of our community. From donations that help fund our services, to time dedicated and kind words.
We hope that our 16 Days Campaign has helped shed some light on the work that we do, why we do it and what keeps us motivated. You can find all of our articles here.
If you or someone you know needs support with any of the issues raised during this campaign, our helpline is open on 0800 019 8818 for anyone who identifies as a woman to speak with a specialist female caseworker. We can offer support with mental health, finances, housing, families and relationships or anything else.
Alternatively, women may prefer to contact our live chat which can be accessed via the orange button in the corner of the screen.
Anawim’s helpline and live chat could be the first step a women takes to access our wide range of services.