The Coaction Hub is a three-year partnership between Asian Women’s Resource Centre (AWRC) and Standing Together Against Domestic Abuse (STADA) funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation which was launched this year.
It was born out of many passionate discussions, reflections and a genuine intention to challenge the existing inequities of resource sharing in the Violence Against Women and Girls Sector.
Inequalities can be seen across the sector. Recent mapping results by the Domestic Abuse Commissioner found that there was a grave lack of provision for ‘by and for’ services with organisations six times less likely to receive statutory funding than other domestic abuse services.
A key step to improve structural inequalities is to increase funding into different strands of provision. This would enable ‘by and for’ organisations to conduct research into harmful practices where they have expertise and experience which would start to target inequities and create better understanding and a better response
The Coaction Hub itself aims to strengthen the Co-ordinated Community Response (CCR) to improve responses to Black and Minoritized/global majority survivors of domestic abuse and harmful practices.
As part of the hub individual agencies lead on aspects of the project but it is very much a collaborative partnership.
AWRC is leading on a ‘knowledge hub’, consulting specialists and survivors and exploring VAWG intervention models internationally to assess what learnings can be integrated.
The Asian Women’s Resource Centre will also explore the effectiveness of risk assessment for Black and minoritized survivors of domestic abuse and harmful practices. It will also create specialist cultural competence training formats and other targeted training materials.
STADA will be leading on improving responses within existing structures of the CCR where their expertise lies such as MARACs (Multi agency risk assessment conference which assess high risk domestic abuse cases and come up with co-ordinated safety interventions) and Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs).
They will be building on their work supporting a local Harmful Practices Operational Group, which incorporated collating and analysing data on how harmful practices cases are handled at MARAC.
The work will be widened to explore the effectiveness of MARAC for harmful practices cases through surveying MARAC Co-ordinators and holding interviews and focus groups with the specialist agencies who represent these cases at MARAC.
The Coaction Hub will be also offering targeted training on MARAC and Harmful Practices, combining the expertise of both partnership agencies. In collaboration with Standing Together’s DHR Team, they will also be offering DHR mentorships to Black and minoritized workers in the sector.
The aim will be to bring their voices and expertise into the DHR sector, whilst providing them with training and mentoring.
As part of this project AWRC and STADA co-ordinate a pan London Harmful Practices Strategic Partnership, a ‘by and for’ led space for agencies to work strategically and collaboratively around creating change in response to harmful practices.
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