Day 11: Welsh Women’s Aid, A Day in the Life (Public Affairs Manager, Tina Reece)

Welsh Women’s Aid’s A Day in the Life
Public Affairs Manager
By Tina Reece

I work for Welsh Women’s Aid – my job involves making sure that the voice of survivors and services are heard by decision makers, to work towards an end to violence against women through political and social change. This means I coordinate our public facing work including campaigns, media, and work with politicians and stakeholders such as the Police and other charities.

My day starts with a scroll through Twitter. I retweet a story about an IPCC inspection that has found problems with a Police force’s handling of a domestic abuse case. There are also revelations of another celebrity accused of historic sex abuse.

These events have a common theme, but you will be unlikely to see it written anywhere within these stories. This is a big part of the problem – there is a wide spread failure of our media and leaders to connect the dots and name one of the main contributing causes of these tragic single incidents: violence against women and girls. The UN recognises this term as describing abuse suffered by women because they are women.

When I get to the office, I draft a letter to the National Assembly for Wales committee scrutinising the Welsh Government’s new ‘Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Bill’ to pass on some extra evidence provided by our CEO. This is an important piece of legislation for us. It addresses the public responses to violence against women, and will hopefully have a positive impact on our work in Wales for many years to come.

Next I set up a meeting with a Minister and our CEO to discuss funding for refuges and reply to a media request from the BBC asking a comment on the IPCC’s report – they will be coming to the office at 2pm and I will explain why we are disappointed with the Police failings in this case.

After lunch I am off to a meeting of the Wales Violence Against Women Action Group, made up of all the organisations working in the sector in Wales. Today we are discussing our campaign to strengthen the education and prevention elements of the Gender-based Violence Bill.

Violence against women and girls is caused by inequality, which means we suffer disproportionately from domestic abuse and other certain types of violence. This type of violence is described as the most pervasive human rights violation in the world today. Simply being born a women is the biggest risk factor to suffering these terrible forms of abuse during my lifetime – something that my job constantly reminds me of.

This is why the 16 Days to Eliminate Violence Against Women, which ends on Human Rights Day – December 10th, is such an important time for us to draw attention to this global attack on women and girls. I believe the only way for us to move forward is through education and prevention, towards a more equal world where being born a girl doesn’t mean your human rights will be at risk.