2021/22: Partnerships

Amplifying the voices of survivors

Image showing stylistic illustrations of women's faces below text that says: A sisterhood of support through ups and downs, leading the way forward to a positive change.

Survivors are key partners in our work.

Our Survivor Network links women who have experienced VAWDASV and creates opportunities for them to use their experiences to create change.

By the end of 2021/22, there were 93 women in this ‘sisterhood of support.’

How to join our Survivor Network


Illustration of a woman standing next to a river and looking into the distance. A storm cloud with lightning is above her, but rays of sunshine are ahead.

The Survivor Network is not a support service, but growth and empowerment are at its heart.

In 2021/22, we hosted monthly survivor forums as well as a larger event where attendees created a song together.

Women who had joined in the past year told us they had gone from feeling ‘stressed’, ‘broken,’ ‘shamed’ and ‘sad’ to feeling ‘supported,’ ‘energised’ and ‘hopeful’.

Illustration of diverse people beneath the hashtag Stand With Survivors.

In 2021/22, many members of the network took advantage of public speaking training and media training.

Several gave media interviews, and at least one member found paid employment in the VAWDASV sector.

Collectively, members submitted feedback to Welsh Government on multiple policies, including the Relationships and Sexuality curriculum and the refreshed VAWDASV strategy.


Screenshot of the cover of the survivor engagement toolkit. Illustration of women's faces with the text: Meaningful Survivor Participation, an engagement toolkit for organisations.

Every service, policy, and practice that affects survivors would benefit from their input.

In 2021/22, the Network created a toolkit to help organisations do this in ways that are productive, inclusive, and trauma-informed.

Find out more about the toolkit

Representing the Welsh sector perspective

Pink and purple graphic with the text: Public Health Approach to Preventing VAWDASV

We believe in a public health approach to ending VAWDASV, which prioritises prevention, including early intervention and changing perpetrator behaviour.

In 2021/22, both Welsh and UK Government produced strategies related to ending VAWDASV:

Screenshot of the cover of the State of the Sector 2021 report. Illustration of houses and trees on a hillside. Text says: A strategy for sustainable support.

A public health approach to ending VAWDASV needs to be able to support all survivors when they need it.

In 2021/22, we published our annual State of the Sector Report, showing how a lack of adequate and sustainable funding harmed survivors.

The sector is so chronically underfunded that even emergency Covid-19 relief was not enough to cover the additional need.

Illustration of three women standing together in an office setting, looking at something together.

We also provided 22 statements on policies that impact survivors, including:

  • Support for migrants with no recourse to public funds (NRPF).
  • Priorities for health, social care, and housing.
  • Action plans for achieving LGBTQ+ equality.

Read our statements

Supporting ethical, Wales-focused research

Illustration showing the outline of Wales filled with diverse women's faces.

A public health approach to ending VAWDASV needs good data about who is affected, where, why, and how.

Statistics from our member organisations and the Live Fear Free helpline enable us to provide a national picture of VAWDASV in Wales.

This data is used by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), Public Health Wales (PHW), the Wales Violence Prevention Unit (VPU) and other national and international bodies.

Illustration representing different aspects of research: a woman holding up a chart with data, a woman holding the scales of justice and a sign that says human rights, a woman holding up a transparent window, and a woman putting two puzzle pieces together.

Good data comes from good research. In 2020, we partnered with our sister federations as well as researchers across the UK to develop a Research Integrity Framework for Domestic Abuse and Violence.

The framework sets out ‘five pillars’ on which good VAWDASV research is built: (1) Safety and wellbeing (2) Transparency/accountability (3) Equality, human rights, and social justice (4) Engagement and (5) Research ethics.

We apply the framework when we design our own research projects, including focus groups and consultations. We also apply it to requests from others to amplify or participate in their projects.

In 2021/22, we received more than 40 requests from researchers and were able to facilitate more than 20 of these by promoting them to our survivor network and member organisations.