Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Carl Sargeant’s family, his many friends and colleagues and the community he served, at this difficult time.
Carl Sargeant’s legacy in Wales is significant. As an Assembly Member, Minister and Cabinet Secretary he was a charismatic and influential leader, and was a supporter of many domestic abuse services across Wales. Carl Sargeant played a significant and instrumental part in the Welsh Government’s work to end violence against women, and was rarely seen without a white ribbon on his lapel, a campaign he supported by pledging never to condone, commit or collude with male violence against women.
Carl Sargeant also played a central role in the early development of the globally ground-breaking legislation in Wales to prevent violence against women (later titled the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015). In 2010, as Minister for Social Justice and Regeneration, he published the first Wales strategy for tackling violence against women in Wales (‘Right to be Safe’). More recently as Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, in 2016 Carl Sargeant also oversaw publication of the refreshed national strategy to prevent violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, which included a groundbreaking commitment to ensure sustainable funding for specialist services in the third sector in every area of Wales. In September this year, Carl Sargeant also spoke movingly at our national event to address adverse childhood experiences, about the vital need for Governments and services to listen to survivors of abuse and for policy and practice to be informed by survivors’ experiences.
In the spirit of ensuring we listen to those who have experienced abuse, we welcome the commitments made to independently investigate, and deliver justice, for all those who have been caught up in the tragic events that have unfolded over the previous week. We hope that any learning from the investigations underway will help improve policy and practice in future.
Anyone who needs help and support in relation to harassment or abuse can contact the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 for 24-hour confidential information and support, and help to access local services.
14 November 2017