Welsh Women’s Aid: A Day in the Life (Day One: CEO Eleri Butler)

Welsh Women’s Aid: A Day in the Life
Chief Executive Officer
Eleri Butler

I joined Welsh Women’s Aid at the beginning of November, after working for over 25 years in various roles on violence against women prevention. I’ve spent my first 2 weeks listening to colleagues, finding out who does what, visiting our local services, and meeting as many people as possible involved in our work – supporters, funders, services and survivors. Having moved back to live in Wales, I am very proud and privileged to be working with such wonderful colleagues and supporters, and I firmly believe our network of national and local services is one of the foremost achievements of the women’s movement in Wales and the UK.

November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, sees the start of our annual 16 Days campaign to raise awareness of the need to prevent and end this violation of human rights. In the last few weeks there has been unprecedented coverage in the news of the success of feminist campaigning, such as a football club reversing its decision to allow convicted rapist Ched Evans to train with them and a sexist TV-series being axed, alongside media commentary on whether the use of awareness campaigns or politics is the best way of tackling the root cause of gender inequality.

At Welsh Women’s Aid we don’t think this should be an either/or approach. Our awareness-raising work sits alongside our goal of working with European colleagues to change political systems to achieve gender equality. This includes highlighting the importance of state accountability and the need for countries to implement the European Convention to prevent violence against women and children and to promote and strengthen their human rights. Which is why we look forward to working together with colleagues across Wales to make sure proposed new legislation in Wales is the best it can be to prevention violence and abuse.

Our work is as important now as it was in 1978 when we started representing the national network of domestic abuse services. Between January to October this year, 122 UK women have been killed through known or suspected male violence. Last year, our All-Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline supported 27,972 callers, whilst many of our local domestic abuse services – which last year supported 6,351 survivors and 4,883 children and young people – are struggling to meet local needs in light of the challenges facing publicly funded services.

Your support for our national work is vital if we are to successfully support and provide a voice for local services and survivors, whilst campaigning to end violence against women in all its forms. Please get in touch to find out how you can help or donate £3 by texting ‘BLHI37 £3’ to 70070.