New guidance for people who come into contact with perpetrators of violence, domestic abuse and sexual assault through their everyday work has been published today by the Welsh Government.
The ‘Good Practice Guidance’ looks to advise those without specialist knowhow - such as housing officers, health care staff and employment support workers - on how to recognise, report and support those who are abusive or are in an abusive relationship in a practical and safe way.
The Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act, called VAWDASV for short, launched in 2015 and was shortly followed by a national strategy.
The strategy set out the Welsh Government’s commitments to ensuring victims are prioritised whilst recognising perpetrators also need effective support to address abusive behaviours, improving outcomes for everyone affected.
Last year standards for consistent specialist services for perpetrators were published and today’s guidance goes further, recognising the vast roles within Wales’ wider public services which involve regular interactions with perpetrators.
Workers can also access specific training for non-specialists in VAWDASV. ‘Ask and Act’ supports public-facing staff to recognise the signs of domestic abuse and learn how to approach potential victims with their concerns. 4,343 have been trained across Wales to date.
The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip Jane Hutt said:
It’s saddening that our public service staff encounter victims and perpetrators of violence and domestic abuse every day, whether that be through the public, their colleagues or within their family and friendship groups. But it is imperative we give them the right tools and knowledge for when they might need it.
By using the practical and accessible information within this guidance, public services workers can signpost perpetrators to the appropriate specialist services and help Wales to tackle all forms of domestic abuse and violence.
Publishing this good practice guidance reiterates the Welsh Government’s commitment to ensuring all perpetrators are able to get the help they need and their victims, survivors, children and families are wholly protected - improving the lives of Wales’ people.
If you’ve experienced coercive control or any kind of violence, domestic abuse and sexual assault, call the free and confidential Live Fear Free helpline on 0808 8010 800 or visit livefearfree.gov.wales to message an adviser 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.