AVA’s mother organisation the Greater London Domestic Violence Project (GLDVP) was formed 20 years ago today – 6th September 1997. AVA was established thirteen years later to expand GLDVP’s legacy to a national level and to widen its focus from domestic violence to all forms of Violence Against Women and Girls.
We have come a long way since GLDVP started with one member of staff as part of the London Action Trust. Today we are a committed and hard-working team of eight women, including long standing member Jo Sharpen who has been with us through the transition to AVA. This is a chance to thank all the people that have been involved in the success of AVA over the last 20 years. Special thanks goes the founder Davina James-Hanman, who left us in 2013, and to our Chair Ian Powell, who helped set up GLDVP in 1997.
AVA built on the success of GLDVP’s achievement in developing and implementing the first ever London Domestic Violence Strategies (2001-04 and 2005-08), which put survivors’ voices and experience at the core. We now are leading national experts and our work includes ensuring children and young people’s voices are heard in the development of NICE guidelines and improving housing options in our access to safe housing project.
From the foundation of GLDVP our work has been at the forefront of work on multiple disadvantage and how it intersects with Violence Against Women and Girls. This area of work, which was launched in 2002 under the umbrella of the Stella Project, has been recognised across the UK and internationally. AVA has built on this knowledge including developing our BARTA consultancy service for mental health trusts and only yesterday launching, in partnership with Agenda, our Mapping the Maze research project.
Over the years GLDVP expanded its work around children and young people through its focusing on prevention work and championing of the community group programme. AVA is now a leading expert in the field of children and young people affected by gender based violence and abuse. We have delivered community group programme training across the country from Cumbria to Cambridge. Our prevention platform is award winning and last year was visiting over ten thousand times.
We have become leaders in delivering professional development training relating to Violence Against Women and Girls. Last year alone we delivered 128 courses to 3,529 practitioners across the UK. We constantly develop and adapt our training, including recently developing a course on “creating trauma informed services”.
AVA has followed in the footsteps of GLDVP in increasing our influence and reach through multiple media challenges. In 2003 GLDVP was part of the steering group involved in BBC Hitting Home Campaign that was watched by 23.8 million people and embraced technology through websites and online newsletters. Today, AVA has over 9,000 twitter followers, our newsletter reaches 5,000 people and we have over 35,000 visits to our website this year.
It has been busy twenty years and we are excited about what we can achieve over the next twenty.