Welsh Women’s Aid welcomes the Westminster domestic abuse consultation (view here) which aims to transform the response to domestic abuse across England and Wales, including bringing greater recognition to the harms of economic abuse, the introduction of more robust court orders and more support for victims to give evidence in court, and ensuring perpetrators are dealt with in an effective and timely way.
Eleri Butler, Welsh Women’s Aid CEO said:
“We are please that the Home Office and Ministry of Justice will today (10 May) hear from services and survivors of abuse, in Wales, about our priorities. These include wanting to see legislation that also bans the cross-examination of survivors of domestic abuse in the family courts, a review of welfare reforms which survivors tell us impacts on their ability to live fear free from abuse, and additional support for vulnerable migrant women who have no recourse to public funds and unequal access to protection, support and justice.
Informed by our experience of legislative reform to prevent violence against women in Wales, we also recommend that the scope of these proposed reforms be extended to address sexual violence and all forms of violence against women. Domestic abuse does not happen in isolation and we cannot respond in silos.
The impact of any reforms will also be limited without sufficient resources being allocated to enable public services to effectively implement these reforms. Crucially, to ensure no victim is turned away from life-saving support, it is vital that we see parallel action by Westminster and Welsh Government to sustainably fund domestic abuse refuges, sexual violence services and specialist support for migrant women.
Welsh Women’s Aid s committed to working with Governments in Wales and England, to ensure no woman is left behind and all survivors an access safety and support, to ensure that perpetrators are held to account, and that violence against women is no longer tolerated in our communities.”