Domestic Abuse affects people from all walks of life regardless of their age and social, cultural or ethnic backgrounds. It can include all kinds of physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse. The majority of victims of domestic abuse are women, however, men are also victims as are children and young people living in homes where domestic abuse takes place. While most forms of Domestic Abuse are first and foremost a crime, tackling it requires action not just from the police and the Criminal Justice System, but from a large number of agencies and services, including key Local Government services.
In 2010 the Welsh Government published ‘The Right to be Safe’ which is its strategy for tackling all forms of violence against women. The Right to be Safe contains four key priorities:
- Prevention and Raising Awareness of Violence Against Women and Domestic Abuse
- Providing Support for Victims and Children
- Improving the Response of Criminal Justice Agencies
- Improving the Response of Health Services and Other Agencies
Many of the aims and objectives contained within the WG strategy are closely aligned with the UK Government’s strategy ‘Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls’ which contains a range of actions for non-devolved bodies and criminal justice measures that will apply across England and Wales.
Community Safety Partnerships in Wales are key to the delivery of ‘The Right to be Safe’. Taken together, there is a myriad of work ongoing amongst CSPs in Wales to address Domestic Abuse locally.
In addition to the development and implementation of 'The Right to be Safe' other key Government initiatives to help address domestic abuse include:
- The introduction of Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs)
- The establishment of Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVCs)
- The opening of a number of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)
The Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2014 places duties on Welsh Ministers, Local Authorities and Local Health Boards to prepare and publish strategies aimed at ending domestic abuse, gender-based violence and sexual violence.
For more information contact: Rachel Morgan