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Last August, we set about the somewhat unenviable task of counting the number of Idvas currently working in England and Wales. We’re now doing the count again – and we want to make sure your voice is heard.

Why count?

Good question! Last year we found that we only have half the number of Idvas we estimate are needed across the country to support all victims in England and Wales at high-risk of death or harm. 50% of Idvas is clearly not enough. We shared the findings with the Home Office. We also wrote to police and crime commissioners and local authorities. Many replied positively and we’ve seen some areas really rise to the challenge and secure more funding for Idvas.

What happens this year?

This year we’ll call every Idva service to find out about capacity, workload and more. We’ll want to know how many Idvas work at your service, who they support and if there’s anything you’d like to tell the Home Secretary or your local commissioners – like what could be done to make things better for victims and their families in your area. The survey will only take 5 minutes. Like last year, we will provide the Home Secretary and key commissioners with the data so that we can learn how provision has changed.

What do I need to do?

Please tell your team that we’ll be getting in touch over the coming weeks. If you don’t hear from us by 4 September, or you’re a new service we might not know about, or perhaps have changed your contact details, do drop us a line on idvacount@safelives.org.uk to make sure we include you.

And as a thank you

As a thank you for taking part in the survey, your service will be entered into a draw to win one free place on a one-day training course (NB – only available to voluntary organisations).

We’ve made real progress in the last 10 years. Idvas have transformed the landscape of domestic abuse services, working in partnership with local agencies to help families who wanted to feel – and be – safe in their own homes. Of course, remaining at home is not right for everyone, and in some situations people need to leave. But women experiencing domestic abuse should have choices – and getting help from an Idva equips them with those choices.

So, please answer our call. We want to hear how things are in your area, so that together we can continue to save lives. As victims tell us:

How many Idvas are there?