Welsh Women’s Aid statement on the departure of Women’s Aid England CEO and debate about feminist-led women’s organisations

As a feminist organisation based in Wales, Welsh Women’s Aid is an independent charity, which aims to end domestic abuse, sexual violence and all forms of violence against women and girls.

Our values are founded on human rights, anti-discrimination and an intersectional approach to preventing violence and to achieving the liberation of all women and girls from the multiple oppressions many of us experience including sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, ageism, ableism, transphobia.

Placing these values centrally means we embed them into our recruitment processes, into how we work and how we collaborate with others. It means being uncompromising when faced with challenging misuse of power or oppressive practices, it means sharing expertise, accepting that we may not always get it right, but being committed to learning and moving forward for the benefit of all survivors of abuse.

Our work in Wales is part of a UK and global movement for change at individual, community and societal levels, to prevent the epidemic of violence against women and girls. So we have been dismayed to observe the recent unfolding events in England that have culminated in the departure of Women’s Aid Federation England CEO.

We may work with a range of people to achieve our goals and we might not always agree with them or support their views. But we do not condone, in any capacity, the supporting of, endorsement, or giving a platform to politicians or others in public life that espouse hatred, intolerance, racism, discrimination or violence. Being a bystander, is not an option. To paraphrase a well-known black lesbian mother warrior poet, being silent will not protect us: not one of us is free while any woman is unfree even if their shackles are different from our own.

Welsh Women’s Aid is committed to challenging, disrupting and changing social and cultural norms and dismantling patriarchy and intersecting systems and structures that perpetuate abuse, harms and inequalities. In doing so, we aim to amplify the diverse voices and experiences of survivors, including Black and minoritised women, disabled women, lesbians, trans women, migrant women, older and young women.

In the current climate, our collaboration with, and the sustainability of, specialist services is vital if we are to achieve our shared goals. We stand in solidarity with sister organisations with whom we share a continued commitment to feminist-led practice and intersectional approaches to ending violence against women and girls.