Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans, has met with Welsh Women’s Aid on the second anniversary of the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015.
Mrs Evans said: “It is estimated that around 3 million women across the UK experience rape, domestic violence, forced marriage, stalking, sexual exploitation, trafficking and other forms of violence every year. This is the equivalent to the population of Wales.
"I am pleased that the Welsh Government led the way by introducing legislation to improve prevention, protection and support for women affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence, and I am pleased that the Welsh Government is making good progress on its implementation.”
Welsh Women’s Aid is a national charity which works to prevent domestic abuse and all forms of violence against women, and ensure high-quality services for survivors that are needs-led, gender responsive and holistic.
They told Mrs Evans of some of the achievements that have been made since the passing of the Act. These include, the National Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy 2016-2021, the publishing of the Whole-Education Approach Good Practice Guidance, the developing of the “Ask and Act” Framework which aims to require all professionals to ask clients if they are being abused and act as appropriate, and the appointment of a National Advisor.
Mrs Evans said: “To enable us prevent violence and abuse in the future, we have to work to ensure that children understand what constitutes a healthy relationship, and know how to recognise the symptoms of an unhealthy relationship.
"The Welsh Government has published a Whole Education Approach Good Practice Guide, produced by Welsh Women’s Aid, and awareness raising guidance for school governors. I am committed to working with the schools in Gower to help children understand what a healthy relationship is. This is imperative as children are often the silent victims of domestic abuse, which they may witness in the home or even experience first-hand from a boyfriend or girlfriend.”
The Welsh Government has also taken significant steps to reduce the incidence, and to protect victims, of Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence. Working with, and listening to, survivors is crucial and it is their experiences which are shaping the Welsh Governments policy and services.