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Violence against women and domestic abuse

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A review of the barriers to providing a good service to the victims of abuse (medium and standard risk) and identifies how the services victims receive could be improved.
Safeguarding is about protecting children and adults from abuse or neglect and educating those around them to recognise the signs and dangers.
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We want a culture that challenges abusive behaviour – everyone has the right to live fear free.

Gender-based violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence can include all kinds of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and can occur within all kinds of intimate relationships, including same sex relationships. 

We are committed to protecting and supporting victims of such violence and abuse and work with enforcing agencies to ensure perpetrators are held accountable for what they do and provided appropriate help.

We work in collaboration with other statutory bodies and the third sector to develop policy and facilitate delivery of support to victims and their children in a number of ways including the funding of the 24 hour All-Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence helpline to provide help, advice and emergency support. We also fund Domestic Abuse Coordinators and Independent Domestic Violence Advisers who directly help victims.

Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015

On 29 April 2015, the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill received Royal Assent and became an Act. The legislation aims to improve the Public Sector response in Wales to such abuse and violence and was subject to rigorous scrutiny through the legislative process.

The Act will amongst other things:

  • Improve arrangements to promote awareness of, and prevent, protect and support victims of gender-based violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence
  • Introduce a needs–based approach to developing strategies which will ensure strong strategic direction and strengthened accountability
  • Ensure strategic level ownership, through the appointment of a Ministerial Adviser who will have a role in advising Welsh Ministers and improving joint working amongst agencies across this sector
  • Improve consistency, quality and join-up of service provision in Wales.

For further information and details about the development of the Act and its scrutiny by the National Assembly for Wales please visit the National Assembly for Wales website (external link).

Explanatory Memorandum

The Explanatory Memorandum for the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 provides more detail about the development of the Act, the proposals that were considered, the financial implications and what the Act is designed to achieve.

National adviser

A National Adviser has been appointed to advise Ministers and improve joint working amongst public bodies under the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015.

Functions of the Adviser

The main functions of the National Adviser are:

  • to advise Ministers and give assistance in achieving the aims of the Act
  • to monitor and advise Ministers on both the content and implementation of local strategies
  • undertake research relating to the Act and related matters by examining whether abuse of any kind is related directly or indirectly to inequality between people of a different gender, gender identity or sexual orientation
  • produce reports relating to the Act or tackling related matters.

Supporting policies

Alongside the Act we are in the process of developing a number of supporting policies. These include a National Training Framework for Wales on violence against women and other forms of gender-based violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence for all key public sector and specialist service provider professionals across Wales and a Healthy Relationships programme in schools.

For advice and support call the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.

More information

Visit Live Fear Free (External link) for further information and links to support services.