Solace Policy Priorities for London

illustration of the London skyline

Sadiq Khan re-elected as Mayor of London

Congratulations to Labour’s Sadiq Khan on his re-election as Mayor of London. We look forward to continuing to work with Mr Khan and his teams at MOPAC and City Hall to end violence against women girls in London.  

In response to our campaign, Sadiq Khan said,  

“I want London to be a city where every woman and girl feels safe and valued. Sadly, we already know that home is not always a safe place for everyone, and I am deeply worried about those who feel threatened or unsafe in their own homes, particularly during the pandemic. As part of my record £60 million investment in preventing and addressing Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) I’ve committed £44 million to specialist services for victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. I’ve also launched a £1.5 million programme to provide emergency accommodation for Londoners and their dependants fleeing violence and abuse including those with no recourse to public funds, as well as LGBTQ+ and male victims. Working with Solace, I have provided specialist support to victims of domestic abuse through my £50 million Move On programme. And I’ve invested £2.5 million in addressing the behaviour of abusers. 

“I’m determined to ensure our city is safe for everyone and look forward to continuing to work closely with organisations like Solace to deliver many of the goals they have set out. If I’m re-elected on 6 May, I’ll refresh my VAWG Strategy to take a public health approach with a focus on prevention and responding to changing pressures, and continue to support those who suffer from domestic abuse with support. I'll work to ensure that migrant victims can access help without fear, and provide safe and informal spaces for victims from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds.  

"I’m also clear that men simply must change – and that starts from an early age. As well as continuing to invest in programmes to change the behaviour of perpetrators of abuse, I’ll continue to support sex and relationship education in schools to promote learning and positive, healthy relationship and counter early unhealthy attitudes and behaviours which can, if left unchecked, evolve into bigotry and even violence.” 

Solace Priorities

Ahead of the elections in May 2021, we asked Mayoral and Greater London Assembly (GLA) candidates to sign four pledges to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that all women and girls can live free from the fear and reality of male violence In London and flourish in this great City.  

These are our priorities for London 2021-24:

 

Develop and implement a strategy to end violence against women and girls for 2021-24, encompassing and not delinked from domestic abuse, with specific commitments that the strategy will: 

  • Invest in work to prevent VAWG across London including training and education resources for schools to support children and young people affected by VAWG during the pandemic;  

  • Work with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to increase transparency over allegations of VAWG levelled at serving officers and to rebuild survivors’ trust in the MPS, particularly Black and minoritised women, lesbian and bisexual women, trans women, working class women and Deaf and disabled women who are already less likely to report VAWG crimes, and introduce targets to reduce victim attrition in reported domestic abuse and sexual violence cases; and 

  • Join up with any violence reduction strategy acknowledging the links between serious youth violence, gangs and knife crime and violence against women.  

Make London a safe city for migrant survivors by: 

  • Commissioning specialist support for survivors with no recourse to public funds so they are not forced to choose between abuse or destitution, including wholly funded places with allocations for immigration support and intensive resettlement support;  

  • Immediately halting data sharing between the Metropolitan Police Service and the Home Office on victims of VAWG in line with the recommendation made by the report of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, the College of Policing and the Independent Office for Police Conduct1, so that migrant women can be confident they can report VAWG without fear of immigration enforcement; and 

  • Publicising the fact across London and translated to support survivors from all communities to report abuse and to deter perpetrators from using anyone’s insecure immigration status as a mechanism of control.  

Commit to fairer funding practices for VAWG by: 

  • Moving away from competitive tendering to a valued-based grant funding model and issue contracts for at least three years with extensions to five where possible to ensure a sustainable specialist VAWG sector for London;  

  • Tackling the gendered nature of VAWG by commissioning services that are run by and for women; and 

  • Meeting the needs of Black and minoritsed women, Deaf and disabled women, LGBT+ survivors by providing ring-fenced funding for services run by and for these communities. 

Ensure that survivors are able to secure long-term, safe and suitable housing, along with specialist support, to begin to recover and not be retraumatized by multiple moves in London by: 

  • Adopting a Whole Housing Approach to commissioning safe accommodation under the new Domestic Abuse Bill Duty including flexible funding as recommended by the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA); 

  • Commission a mix of safe accommodation provided by specialist VAWG services including refuges, dispersed accommodation, sanctuary schemes and wholly funded places available for women with no recourse to public funds and funding; and  

  • Ring-fence a minimum of 5% of housing under new or existing affordable housing programmes and 20% of any funding for ending rough sleeping for survivors of VAWG, to ensure women made homeless through VAWG including those experiencing or at risk of street homelessness women can access safe and suitable women-only accommodation with specialist VAWG support where needed. 

 

Read more about our priorities for the new London Mayor and Assembly below : 

Solace full priorities