Grants offered for tech ideas supporting abuse victims

Comic Relief and partners are offering grants towards creative digital solutions that improve the safety of people affected by abuse.

Chrissy Chiu | 12th Jun 19
Image of woman crying. The Tech 4 abuse service competition is seeking powerful ideas to combat abuse through tech.

Charities are being asked to submit their applications for the Tech vs Abuse 2019 funding programme. Comic Relief, The Clothworkers’ Foundation, and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation have teamed up to offer up to 12 £50,000 grants towards creative digital solutions to improve the safety of people affected by abuse and improve service delivery.

Delivered by Think Social Tech, Snook, and SafeLives, the programme includes four design challenges, which have been updated through a co-design process since the last funding round and include realising it’s abuse; finding the right information at the right time; effective real-time support services; and recovery.

Funding is available for digital tools, approaches, services and ideas in the early development stages – in particular, the programme focuses on non-profit organisations and their work. Bids can be submitted on behalf of one charity or in consortium with other non-profit organisations.

The deadline for applications is the 4th of July – go here to submit your applciation.

The Tech vs Abuse programme follows from the body of research funded by Comic Relief, The Clothworkers’ Foundation, and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The report, authored by Think Social Tech, Snook, and SafeLives was released in 2016; the report has since been updated with data up until May 2019.  The original report in 2016 included over 250 people affected by domestic abuse and to 350 support workers who help them.

Stemming from the need to make better use of digital service for abuse victims, the updated report noted key findings:

  • More digital tools exist – in the UK, many digital tools have emerged, and have increased since the original market scan performed in 2016.
  • There are new risks and concerns around technology – developments in technology are positive and negative; while services can be developed to support victims, technology can equally be used to stalk and abuse victims.
  • Accessibility – support services in real time are still limited; many victims find it hard to access support systems and may face additional barriers to accessing help.
  • Early stage funding for projects is required the most – funding for the discovery of new ways to support victims was most needed.