TODAY the Welsh Government’s National Advisers on violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence – referred to as VAWDASV – released their annual report, commenting on achievements during 2019-20 against their objectives set last year, and noting progress made by Welsh Government in tackling violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Key progress identified in the report includes:
Implementing victim and survivor best practice into local strategies – shared learning from pan-Wales and pan-UK experts and stakeholders has been invaluable
Prioritising the voices of children as victims and witnesses of abuse, and embedding their needs into VAWDASV policy
Learning lessons from reviews of fatal incidents through partnership with cross-Government VAWDASV officials
Working with academic partners and specialist services to increase the shared understanding of ‘what works’ when addressing the harmful behaviours of those who perpetrate VAWDASV
Finding new ways to engage with survivors of VAWDASV who had so far not been reached
Refinements have been made to national indicators
Maximising funding opportunities for third sector service providers through work with the Sustainable Funding Group
Oral evidence was twice provided to the scrutiny committee for the Domestic Abuse Bill, highlighting VAWDASV work undertaken in Wales
Partnership work with the All Wales Honour-based Violence, Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation Leadership Group has been extended
In their report, the National Advisers said:
“It is fair to say that domestic violence and sexual abuse remains the epidemic of our times, where despite our progress there is much to do.
“We sincerely believe that the objectives we set last year are helping to transform the VAWDASV landscape in Wales.
“We will continue to work closely with VAWDASV specialist services and key partners in Wales. VAWDASV is everyone’s business – the voices of victims and survivors need to be heard loud and clear. Please, please listen. ”
Announcing the publication of the report, the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, said:
“I am very grateful to our brilliant National Advisers for the expertise and energy they bring to the role, and for their continuing support.
“Their report describes progress against a set of challenging objectives. I am pleased that it recognises the ongoing strides made by Welsh Government.
“However, it is absolutely abhorrent that violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence still exists today in our society. This is a true scourge on communities, individuals and entire families.
“I am proud Wales is leading the way with our legislation and the crucial work people and organisations are doing across the country to bring violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence to an end, for everyone.”