Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Local Government and Government Business
The ‘Consultation on Legislation to End Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence’ was published on 26 November 2012 for a 13 week consultation, which ended on 22 February 2013.
Today, I am publishing a summary of the responses and I attach a copy of the report for Members’ information. The report will be published on the consultation pages of the Welsh Government’s website later today.
We received an excellent response to the consultation, with 147 written responses received. The majority of these responses (129) answered the questions in the consultation document; however, a minority (18) did not follow this format.
The consultation takes forward a commitment from the First Minister’s legislative statement in July 2012 which confirmed the intention to issue a White Paper consultation on an Ending Violence against Women and Domestic Abuse (EVAWDA) Bill. This supported the commitment made by the Welsh Government in its Programme for Government to introduce a Domestic Abuse Bill. The Welsh Government believes action needs to be taken to tackle the enduring social problem of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence. We know this affects people from all backgrounds and impacts on the lives of a large number of people in Wales.
Building upon the engagement events, which took place in the summer of 2012, and the Task and Finish Group report, the White Paper posed questions around the three key themes of:
- Improving leadership and accountability;
- Education and awareness;
- Strengthening services in Wales.
The majority of responses provided strong support for the proposals outlined in the White Paper. Many commented they believed the proposals will have a positive impact on the lives of those experiencing violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence. The majority of responses also offered detailed advice on how the proposals could be implemented.
The summary report sets out the main themes contained in the responses and from the consultation events. The consultation responses will be used to inform the development of the Bill.
I believe a Bill aimed at ending Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence will help Wales take significant steps in tackling this and I look forward to introducing it during 2014.