This January 25th, St Dwynwen’s Day, Welsh Women’s Aid will remember and celebrate the strength and power of the thousands of women in Wales who live with and survive male violence every day.
St Dwynwen, celebrated in Wales as the patron saint of lovers, devoted her life to promoting loving relationships in the 5th Century after surviving rape by her partner and escaping her father’s attempt to force her to marry a man she did not love. St Dwynwen’s Day is usually a day to celebrate loving and caring partnerships, but for one in three women in Wales it is just another day in which experiencing violence and abuse – domestic abuse, rape, sexual violence, forced marriage, sexual exploitation – dictates their relationships, and which affects all aspects of their lives. Welsh Women’s Aid wants to commemorate St Dwynwen’s Day as a day to remember that most women who have experienced abuse still rise, every day, to hold down jobs, care for others, and hold families and communities together.
As part of this Welsh Women’s Aid are hosting an evening of pizza, prosecco and performance in partnership with Horton’s Coffee House in Newport, 7-10pm, to raise funds and awareness about violence against women. This event will also mark the launch of Welsh Women’s Aid’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
Over the last 40 years, courageous women in Wales pursuing women’s rights began taking women into their homes or setting up safe houses to offer a place of refuge from the relationship violence many women faced. In the 1970s, grassroots women’s groups quickly established a network of independent women’s ‘refuges’ whilst simultaneously campaigning for legal and policy changes to make the personal political, by securing women’s rights and entitlements. In 1978 this same group of women founded ‘Welsh Women’s Aid’ to coordinate refuge provision and provide a collective voice for women. This has now become the Wales ‘ending violence against women sector’ and has continued to promote women’s self-determination and organise services and support networks to meet and respond to women’s changing needs.
Tickets for the event cost £20 and are available by calling into Horton’s Coffee Shop, Millennium Walk, Newport, NP19 0NX. If you would like to pay by bank transfer, please call Welsh Women’s Aid on 02920 541551.
You can also donate the cost of a ticket to Welsh Women’s Aid to show solidarity to women who cannot attend the event because of the violence and abuse that they are experiencing just text EVAW18 £20 to 70070. Supporting Welsh Women’s Aid will mean that more survivors of violence and abuse will be able to rise to speak up about abuse and lead the way to deliver change that lasts in Wales.