Today Parliament debated a bill to ratify the Istanbul Convention, the vote to pass the bill was 135 to 2 MPs in favour.

Eleri Bulter, Chief Executive of Welsh Women’s Aid, said:

It’s fantastic to see a clear commitment from Parliament today to move forward on the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. This takes us one step closer towards a legally binding, comprehensive and coordinated approach to addressing all forms of violence against women. This is a historic step towards a society in which every woman and child lives free from violence and abuse. Welsh Women’s Aid worked in partnership with federations across the UK and IC Change to campaign for this vote to take place. The Welsh Government has already shown commitment to the principles of the Convention in its recently published National Strategy, the vote today strengthens this commitment. For survivors and specialist services in Wales, as elsewhere in Europe, the Istanbul Convention offers a legal framework of minimum standards and measures relating to prevention, provision, and prosecution. Importantly, the Convention sets out fundamental principles relating to the provision of specialist support services. We need to ensure these services continue so that anyone can access help and support if they’re experiencing domestic abuse, sexual violence, harassment, stalking, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, including through the sex industry.