1. Introduction

Jewish Women's Aid (JWA) is inviting tenders for research into the need for specialist Jewish sexual violence services and to examine how JWA should respond to that need, as part of a review of JWA’s existing services in order to identify areas for improvement and inform the options for developing SV services (if appropriate), helping to set the future direction of the organisation.


  1. About JWA

JWA was founded to support the thousands of Jewish women who, each year, will face physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse in their intimate relationships. It began in Leeds in the 1980s, where volunteers set up a local helpline for Jewish women affected by domestic violence. JWA expanded to become a national organisation with the establishment of a London base in 1992 and registration as a charity in 1995.


JWA now employs 16 staff, works with approximately 160 volunteers and runs seven core services.

  • freephone national helpline, delivered by volunteers and acting as the entry point for 25% of JWA clients
  • emergency accommodation provision offering Bed and Breakfast and/or supported referrals to appropriate refuges
  • client support service (for women who do not wish to access a refuge) which has seen more than a 50% increase in client numbers - growing from over 200 to potentially 400  women this year
  • specialist children's work, supporting children of clients affected by abuse;  worked with 111 children in 2016
  • free counselling (face to face or via telephone) and therapeutic group work  provided by qualified volunteer counsellors and managed by paid Co-ordinator, which supports 60 women in over 1000  counselling sessions per year
  • education programmes on healthy relationships, delivered free in secondary schools and reaching in excess of 3,000 pupils annually. A new programme has recently been developed for 16-25 year students looking at campus harassment, relationships and safer dating which is being delivered through Jewish associations in universities
  • training and awareness raising programmes, provided free for over 1,000 delegates from a variety of different disciplines in the Jewish communities, aimed at increasing understanding and awareness of domestic violence and giving them a toolkit to help them better support women living with domestic violence, and to help them refer into JWA services


Volunteers also lead on a programme of events in the Jewish communities which maintain awareness and raise funds for the organisation.


JWA works across the UK Jewish communities and is the only organisation in the UK dealing specifically with the needs of abused Jewish women and their children.

  1. Background to Research

Much of the tone and direction of JWA services over the past 7 years has been set by research commissioned in 2010, and this has worked well. The research was to better understand key factors influencing JWA work, to assess how useful their services were felt to be and to see whether lessons could be learnt from Jewish domestic violence services overseas.

However, this research is over 7 years old and demand for JWA services has increased by 50% in the last few years. External influencing factors will also have changed and different models of delivery are being tried by other providers and approaches towards preventative work have evolved. JWA feel it is now timely to look again at need and service development.


Aligned to this is the lack of specialist provision for Jewish women affected by sexual violence alone. JWA currently provides support for women affected by domestic violence and abuse, an element of which is sexual violence. The VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) sector in the UK encompasses sexual violence but there is currently no specialist provision for Jewish women affected by sexual violence alone. JWA knows from client testimonies that most women affected by domestic abuse prefer to access an agency which understands their values and culture and JWA therefore believe that it’s credible to assume that there are many Jewish women affected by sexual violence who are currently not accessing support and help because there is no culturally specific provision available.
JWA therefore want a review of their current service provision to assess where the gaps are, whether JWA’s service offer and delivery approach is as useful as it could be, and how some services could be developed in the next 5 – 10 years to best meet the needs of abused Jewish women and their children. This needs to go hand in hand with considerations of whether and how to ensure provision of sexual violence services for Jewish women.



  1. Research/Review Objectives

The aim of the required work is to provide a basis for the future development of JWA services over the next five years.


The objectives of the research/review are to

  1. Research into the prevalence and appropriate response to sexual violence in the UK Jewish communities
  2. Review current service provision at JWA to assess where the gaps are (if any), whether JWA service offer and delivery approach is as useful as it could be, and how services could be developed further


These two areas of work can be undertaken concurrently and both will form the basis for the final recommendations.


Objective a

JWA would like the research on sexual violence to look at

  • Prevalence of sexual violence in Jewish communities through
    • Literature review of other research
    • Some original research/needs assessment, to include talking to partners
    • Likely to require extrapolation as well
  • Whether there is a need for a Jewish response, to include consideration of
    • Existing UK-based Rape Crisis services
    • Existing non-UK specialist Jewish services
    • What is currently in place in JWA and the wider community
  • How JWA should respond to the need for sexual violence services, to include consideration of
    • Setting up a new dedicated service or
    • Adapting and enhancing existing services
    • Working in partnership with other providers


Objective b

JWA currently provides seven core activities as briefly described above, which can be divided broadly into frontline support services and prevention work. JWA are not looking to radically shake- up existing services but want the researchers to ‘horizon gaze’, drawing on possible new approaches used by other agencies and consider whether there are better models that could be adopted, whether the current balance of service activities is right, or whether JWA should expand some areas or change the way others are delivered.


Questions that could be considered in relation to existing services include

  • Are there new ways of working and/or thinking that could be considered in relation to JWA casework to make it even more effective?
  • What can be learnt from other agencies working in this field?
  • Could JWA enhance the counselling support service? Should it offer more group work, a service for children and young people, or peer support drop-in?
  • How can the benefits of the training and awareness programmes be quantified? Can JWA strategically aim to reach across the breadth of the Jewish community through these programmes and/or should the training be more targeted?
  • How well does the education programme fit with the rest of JWA services and what are the potential implications for the other services? Are sufficient internal resources directed at this activity and should a programme be delivered in Primary Schools? What are the implications of compulsory SRE for the Secondary School work?
  • Could or should JWA charge for any of the existing free preventative services, particularly education programmes or training?
  • What is the best model to use for JWA therapeutic work with children and are JWA clear on their aims for this work? What are other services doing especially given the reduction of NHS therapy services for children and young people?
  • Is utilising volunteers for the helpline and other activities, the most effective use of JWA resources? Could activities be delivered in part, or fully, by office staff instead and would this be more efficient, or is delivering services via volunteers a way of engaging the community that reaps other benefits? How do the volunteers themselves feel about running the helpline and what other roles could volunteers undertake?


Finally, the implications of any recommended service developments on JWA infrastructure and organisational/personnel resources need to be considered.


The resulting report and recommendations on both the research and review will be used internally, and for ease of use there should be a clear Executive Summary and recommendations in the final Report. In addition however there will be external interest in the sexual violence research and JWA would like the final report to include a separate summary of this for sharing more widely.



  1. Research Design and Methodology

JWA invite Researchers to identify a proposed methodology based on the aims and objectives of the research and review, and the possible questions set out above.


JWA recognise that a full-scale piece of primary research into the prevalence of sexual violence in the Jewish communities would be extremely difficult to achieve and is outside the scope of this brief.  JWA invite Researchers to identify how they would devise an assessment of likely occurrence and need, potentially utilising a mixture of extrapolation and first-hand research. JWA would like the research to look at UK-based Rape Crisis services together with those aimed at Jewish women in other countries. It should involve reviewing literature, local Jewish agencies, statutory agencies and the UK-based Jewish communities to assess need, and should conclude with recommendations for effective interventions and service development meeting this need, (possibly using examples of effective interventions from comparable organisations).
JWA will make available all relevant documents, including recently conducted Service Audits, reports to funders, monitoring statistics and Annual Reports. JWA will expect the Researchers to seek the views of staff, clients, Trustees, partner agencies, Jewish agencies and other DV/SV providers.



  1. Reporting Requirements

The successful Researcher will report directly to Naomi Dickson, CEO of JWA. It is envisaged that this would take the form of an initial project inception meeting and agreement of a project plan followed by regular updates over the telephone or by email, plus several face to face meetings at appropriate times during the course of the work. The Trustees’ Strategic Subgroup will over see the work and receive a presentation on the interim findings and options as indicated in the timetable below.  



  1. Timetable

JWA want this research to start informing service development as soon as possible, however JWA also seek a thorough and comprehensive piece of work and are mindful of external factors that may make consultation with stakeholders difficult. All dates are in 2017.


Tender issued 6th June
Deadline for receipt of written Proposal 9am on 26th June
Shortlisting and invitations to interview issued 26th/27th June
Interviews 30 June
Project inception meeting 3rd or 4th July
Interim report presentation 7th September
Final Report – draft 26th October
Final Report completed 16th November



  1. Budget

JWA have allocated £15,000 for this work, which is to cover all researcher time, associated expenses and resources, and needs to include VAT if applicable. The successful applicant will need to demonstrate best value for this work which will form part of the assessment of Proposals.



  1. Selection Criteria/ Proposal Requirements

JWA is seeking an individual or team with the following attributes

  • Knowledge and understanding of the Jewish community
  • Good understanding of domestic and sexual violence and of the sensitivities of working around these issues in the Jewish communities
  • Experience of undertaking research and service reviews
  • Understanding of the charitable sector


If an organisation is submitting a Proposal, JWA asks for confirmation of equalities and fair employment policies.


Your Proposal should include

  • An outline of your approach to this work showing how you would meet this Brief with key deliverables and dates
  • Information about you and the experience of your organisation and team (include all people who would work on this research), including how you meet the requirements/selection criteria above, (demonstrating your understanding of the sensitivities of working on these issues within the Jewish community).
  • Examples of two similar projects you have worked on
  • A budget showing time commitments and day rates, plus any non-staff costs
  • Confirmation that you can attend an interview on 30th June if shortlisted



Please submit your proposal by email to Lorraine Roberts on lorraine@jwa.org.uk  by 9am on 26th June 2017