Firstly, apologies that there has been a bit of blog silence over the last few days. Like all conferences, there are shifting priorities as the conference progresses. The last few days have been a mixture of attending some government sponsored events, NGO events, lobbying and networking. This sits alongside linking in with the rest of my Anglican Communion colleagues from around the globe. 13 nationalities are present here at the CSW. And of course dealing with emails from the ‘normal’ job back home. However I do acknowledge that it is very handy being a Co-Director, having my Co-Director, back in the UK holding the fort whilst I am away here.
Measuring Prevention Programmes
Over the last few days I have heard from an Australian delegation on a multi-sectoral response to ending violence against women. One of the issues that I keep asking is how do people measure prevention programmes that often is linked to securing funding. The answer is generally the same; it’s difficult, use proxy indicators, and governments appear not to like to fund the work. Instead funding often relies on trust funding, individuals who invest in the programmes. It makes me wonder about why governments appear to shy away from making an investment in prevention programmes. Is it a lack of courage? Is the rhetoric couched in accountability and the need to see results? Yet the governments work for us so do we demand this from our government? Do we expect to see quick results when it comes to ending violence against women?
Cost of Domestic Abuse
Of course we need to be accountable for the money we spend on the issue and we all want to be as effective as possible. Yet it can’t be ignored that behaviour change takes time. And time is money. There are different figures about how much the UK spends on addressing domestic abuse including services, police, medical support etc. One figure is £36 billion a year. This might now have reduced to £24 billion a year (which is not necessarily a good thing). I’m sure we would all like to see this figure reduced because men who chose to abuse have stopped, women are empowered, and healthy relationships flourish.
In the meantime, are we prepared to invest in the long term to see sustained behaviour change?