Tackling Violence against Women and Girls

5pm, 17th April 2018


Applications for £60,000 - £120,000 across 1 to 3 years

About the initiative

Comic Relief has a long legacy and commitment to tackling violence against women and girls. We are therefore very pleased to announce a funding pot of £4 million, co-funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the UK’s Devolved Administrations*  to support organisations that are working to end violence and abuse experienced by women and girls across the UK. The government funds have been raised through the Tampon Tax. 


Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations. Up to 3 million women and girls across the UK experience rape, domestic violence, stalking and other violence each year and every week 2 women are killed by a current or ex-partner. There are some women and girls who are particularly vulnerable to violence, including women who have multiple and complex needs such as poor mental health, substance misuse and those who are homeless. Others may be from less well-served communities or groups, such as BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) and LBTI (Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex) communities, or women who are older and/or disabled. Such women and girls are more likely to slip through the net and not get the specialist support they need, and may be at greater risk of repeat and long-term victimisation and abuse. For this reason, this funding initiative will focus on meeting the needs of women who are at risk or experiencing violence AND who have multiple and complex needs. 

Funding available

Proposals are welcome from across the UK. We expect to make up to 40 grants of £60,000-£120,000 (total) for between one and three years. We may award grants larger than £120,000 to those bidding in partnership with others. 

We expect this to be a highly competitive funding initiative, so applicants must clearly demonstrate how they will address one or more of the aims listed below. 

Aims of the fund

This funding is exclusively focused on women and girls with multiple and complex needs and aims to: 

  • Enable organisations to better support women and girls within the target groups.
  • Showcase how women and girls’ lived experience can inform the design and delivery of services, practice and policy.
  • Provide opportunities for projects to try out new ways and models of working, for example by acting earlier, building community assets or using digital approaches.  
  • Enable cross sector partnerships to work together to provide high quality support. 
  • Support approaches that can provide learning for other organisations and stakeholders across the sector.
  • Improve access to support for women and girls with complex needs in less well-served communities, such as BAMER, older women, LBTI, disabled women. 


We welcome applications for a broad range of work that demonstrates an understanding of the gendered causes of violence against women, and that tackles causes and/or consequences. This may be through preventative/early action measures, crisis intervention, and research and policy work as well as longer-term support. 

Applicants should demonstrate a clear and specific understanding of the needs of those they seek to support, and provide evidence for why they are best placed to meet them, either alone or in partnership.

Applicants can apply for core and project funding, as long as they can evidence how they meet the aims and criteria set out above. (Additional information on what we mean by core funding has been added to the Initiative Guidance).

Organisations with an existing grant are eligible to apply.

Funding process

We require all applicants to submit several documents as part of their proposal, to support our due diligence and assessment. Find out more about these on our Documents for Applying page, and the guidance document below. Applicants should please ensure that they read the guidance document before beginning an application, as well as our general application guidance

We will be open for proposals from 17 April to midday UK-time on the 2 July 2018. We will not accept late proposals and strongly urge that any questions are addressed early on, to make sure that proposals are completed and submitted in time. Applications can be made at any time once the application window is open.  

Once we receive proposals, we’ll shortlist the strongest ones for a more detailed assessment, of the organisation and proposal. We’ll aim to notify all applicants of our decisions at this stage by August. If a proposal is unsuccessful at this stage, we’ll be unable to provide any additional feedback. Assessments on the proposals which pass this stage will take place over August and September. Final decisions will then be made by Comic Relief Trustees and we aim to inform all applicants of these by the end of November. If a proposal is unsuccessful at this stage we’ll write to the organisation explaining why.

*The devolved administration departments include the Department for Communities, Northern Ireland; the Local Government and Communities Directorate, Scottish Government; and the Equality and Prosperity Division, the Welsh Government.