A safe, just and equal world for women

Our team

A message from our Chair

Every day, women and girls continue to fight for the right to be safe in their relationships and families, their homes and communities. They face devastating and unacceptable truths:

  • 1 in 4 girls born today will be a victim of domestic abuse
  • 1 woman or girl will be killed on average every 3 days and many will end their own lives due to domestic abuse.

Women tell us they want the abuse to stop, the perpetrator to be held to account, and for the system to stand with them, including with those who have been criminalised, often as a result of their experiences of abuse. They want to recover from the devastating impact of the abuse and trauma and be an equal part of their community. In the last three years, there has been greater awareness of women’s lack of safety due to domestic abuse and sexual violence, following the pandemic, the murders of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa and others, and reviews into police culture affecting public trust and confidence, highlighted in the Casey Review. The public is asking for urgent action at a time where trust and confidence has been damaged. Women and girls are asking that we do better to protect them, so that they can trust the system and society again. Their voices and needs are at the centre of our work. This year we worked towards developing our Strategy 2023-2026 which we launched in Spring 2023. 

Our vision is a safe, just and equal world for women and girls. We are committed to changing the systems and structures that allow domestic abuse and the impact of the criminal justice system to devastate their lives. We continue to deliver innovative and effective responses through our community services to improve outcomes, reaching out to 8,500 women and children in the past year.

This year, we developed and launched our Maia specialist wraparound community support for young women and girls, in response to the disproportionate impact of domestic abuse on young women and girls under twenty five, affecting them at double the rates than the women over the age of twenty five. Yet specialist wraparound early intervention and preventative support that responds to their needs continues to be lacking nationally. Our Maia service provides an innovative response including specialist one-to-one advocacy and support, peer mentorship by survivors with lived experience, and access to groups and activities in dedicated safe spaces. The service supports them to understand healthy relationships, safety and empowerment, to build confidence and agency, and to manage their health and wellbeing.

The cost-of-living crisis following the pandemic continues to disproportionately impact women and their children, leaving many facing the impossible decision to remain with the perpetrator or to face poverty and homelessness. In response to this, we expanded our Whole Housing services across London, developing specialist responses with partners led by and for diverse communities, including Black and minoritised women. Women affected by domestic abuse should not have to flee, but instead they are supported to be safe in their own home or in a range of accommodation types, with financial, economic, mental health and therapeutic support.

For long-lasting change, there is a need to transform the systems and structures that routinely marginalise women and girls affected by domestic abuse and the criminal justice system. We continued to develop campaigns and influence policy makers and government, through training and multi-agency working, and sharing best practice responses that
effectively support survivors and hold perpetrators to account. We highlighted the impact of abuse and trauma on women’s mental health, launching our report No Relief in May 2022 and calling for long-term wraparound support. We are working with police forces and commissioners to develop specialist diversion responses for women, following the Out of Court Disposals framework required by law since 2022.

Our work is only possible because of everyone at Advance, staff and volunteers, working tirelessly to ensure every survivor is supported to be safe and recover from abuse and trauma, whilst often facing significant challenges in their own lives due to the cost-of living crisis. They have actively engaged in driving the new strategy and ensuring that diversity, equity and inclusion continue to be central to what we do; we thank you.

We are also grateful for all of our supporters, funders and commissioners, our partners and professionals that we work with. You continue to be vital allies, as we work together to ensure women and girls lead safe, just and equal lives.

Christine Losecaat MBE

Our board of trustees

Our ambassadors and supporters

Our executive team

Liz Mack

Liz Mack

Chief Executive Officer
Dr Summer Alston-Smith

Dr Summer Alston-Smith

Director of Development & Insights
Vanessa Penzo

Vanessa Penzo

Director of Finance and Operations
Victoria Osunde

Victoria Osunde

Director of People

Our partners

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