Welsh Women’s Aid is celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day by joining the WAVE Step Up! Campaign, due to launch in coming months, with other organisations across Europe, to raise awareness about violence against women and call for the protection of, and improved access to, specialist services that support women and children in need.
This campaign comes at a time when a third of women across the EU have experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse since the age of 15. Worldwide, one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence and as many as 38% of murders of women globally are committed by an intimate partner. This is also true in the UK where one women dies as a result of male violence every 3 days.
The campaign will seek to raise awareness about violence against women and their children; improve access to support for women and children escaping violence, including access for the most vulnerable groups of survivors; and protect specialist services.
Eleri Butler, Chief Executive of Welsh Women’s Aid, said:
“International Women’s Day is a reminder that millions of women worldwide experience physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse every year, regardless of the country they were born in. It is important that we mark International Women’s Day by remembering these women and, importantly, taking action to move towards a world in which women live free from violence.”
“That is why Welsh Women’s Aid will be joining the WAVE Step Up! campaign, which aims to protect specialist services and improve access to them for women and children in need. As part of this, we will be calling on the UK Government to ratify the Istanbul Convention, which places a duty on governments to provide specialist services to survivors of violence.”
“For survivors of abuse, specialist domestic abuse services are critical, and often life-saving. These services in Wales have been supporting families affected by domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women for decades. They provide safety and support with housing, health, and legal matters, alongside help to recover from abuse and to achieve independence. They also support families in the community who do not need, or cannot access, a refuge, or who do not want to leave their relationship.”
“For anyone in Wales who needs help or support because of domestic abuse or sexual violence, the Live Fear Free Helpline can be contacted on 0808 80 10 800, day or night, for confidential support from a trained adviser.”