Tackling Violence against Women & Girls 2019

Applications Open 

15:00 BST Tuesday 30th July 2019


12 noon BST Wednesday 4th September 2019

Country Focus

United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)

Funding Available

Funding is available for a minimum of 12 to a maximum of 15 months. We will fund investments from £50k up to £250k


Our Eligibility Criteria

Before beginning an application, please take the eligibility quiz, check our main eligibility criteria and consult the guidance thoroughly.

Take our eligibility quiz

Comic Relief believes women and girls should have equal power and agency in decision-making at all levels.  One of the ways in which we have been working towards this vision since we began is through funding organisations working to end gender-based violence.

Find out more about gender justice here.


Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations.

In England, around 1 in every 20 women has experienced extensive physical and sexual violence and abuse across their life course.  These women are more likely to face other adverse circumstances in their lives: more than half have a common mental health condition; 52% have a disability that means they need help with everyday activities; 1 in 5 have experienced homelessness; 1 in 3 have an alcohol problem and are 8 times more likely to be drug dependent than women with little experience of violence and abuse1.

In Northern Ireland, increasing levels of domestic violence are experienced by women. There is a need for effective strategies to tackle the nature and specific impact of gender-based violence on women, including women with multiple identities2.

In Wales each year, it is estimated that there are 140 victims of FGM and 100 victims of forced marriage3.

In Scotland in 2017/18 there were 2,255 cases of rape and attempted rape reported to Police Scotland, this number has increased by 99% in the last ten years4.

Evidence tells us that gender responsive, trauma-informed services best meet the needs of those surviving these multiple disadvantages.

To this end, we are pleased to be continuing our partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the UK’s devolved administrations5 to open a fund of £1.2 million to support organisations across the UK tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG). The fund has been made available through a grant from the Tampon Tax Fund.

Comic Relief’s contribution of £275,000 will be invested in an invite-only fund to organisations already working to tackle violence against older women.



We want to make targeted investments in UK women’s organisations6 which provide frontline services to meet the needs of women and girls facing multiple disadvantage7 across one or more strands of VAWG8.

Proposals should respond to one or more of this programme’s aims:

  • Maintain / improve support for women and girls who are experiencing or at risk of violence and abuse;

  • Expand reach and support for women and girls who face additional barriers in accessing services such as BAMER (Black, Asian Minority Ethnic and Refugee), older, LBTI (Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex), and disabled communities;

  • Capture the lived experiences of women and girls to inform the design and delivery of services, practice and policy;

  • Coordinate cross sector partnerships to build more trauma-informed, joined-up care pathways that meet the holistic needs of women and girls.


Funding available

  • We expect to make up to 15 investments of £50,000 - £250,000.

  • Funded projects will need to start-up in January 2020 and run for no more than 12 to 15 months.

  • Funding can be used to cover specific project activities and core costs that can be evidenced as directly related to the proposed project.

Based on the funding available, investments will be distributed across the four nations of the UK as follows:


Maximum number of investments







Northern Ireland



Our Eligibility Criteria

Before beginning an application, please take the eligibility quiz, check our main eligibility criteria and consult the guidance thoroughly.

Take our eligibility quiz


  • This is a single stage application process. You can read our application guidance for this funding opportunity here.
  • The deadline for proposals is 12 noon BST on Wednesday 4th September 2019.
  • 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.
  • Proposals will be shortlisted for assessment (details will be provided to relevant organisations).
  • Assessments on the proposals which pass this stage will take place in October/early November 2019.
  • Final funding decisions will then be made by Comic Relief Trustees and we aim to inform all applicants of these by the end of January 2020.


1 https://weareagenda.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Hidden-Hurt-full-report1.pdf

2 https://www.equalityni.org/ECNI/media/ECNI/Publications/Delivering%20Equality/CEDAW-ListofIssuesNI.pdf

3 https://gweddill.gov.wales/docs/dsjlg/publications/commsafety/161104-national-strategy-en.pdf

4 https://www.gov.scot/publications/recorded-crime-scotland-2017-18/pages/5/

5 Department for Communities, Northern Ireland; Local Government and Communities Directorate, Scottish Government; Communities Division, Welsh Government

6 UK women’s organisations: those who work from a feminist and / or women’s rights perspective, are led by women, promote the rights of women and girls as their primary mission, and call for structural change to achieve gender equality

7 Multiple disadvantage: the overlapping experiences of violence / abuse, mental ill health and substance misuse

8 Child Sexual Exploitation, Coercive Control, Domestic Abuse, Harmful Practices (FGM, FM, HBV), Image-based sexual offending, Misogyny, Prostitution, Sexual harassment, Sexual violence & rape, Stalking, Trafficking