Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
There is recognition across the region that in order to fully address VAWDASV issues, there needs to be more focus placed on community based early intervention and primary prevention. We are in the early stages of development in this area with the ‘Ask Me’ initiative for community ambassadors being rolled out across West Glamorgan, as well as other campaigns targeting key groups such as hairdressers, barbers and sports teams. A shift in perspective is important in order to ‘call out’ perpetrators of VAWDASV, and we are working with Welsh Government and our regional communications partners to develop this.
The responsibility of VAWDASV lies with those who perpetrate it, and work must be done to encourage all agencies to recognise this. A Whole Systems Approach to perpetrator work is the region’s aim, and we work closely with the police, the Police and Crime Commissioner and other partners towards achieving this.
Sexual violence and abuse infiltrates many areas of society, including schools and colleges, workplaces, night time economy and aspects of daily life, so we aim to work with partners across all sectors to highlight the issue and ensure it is everyone’s responsibility in line with the VAWDASV (Wales) Act, 2015.
For victims/survivors with multiple disadvantages, such as alcohol and/or substance misuse, there can be additional barriers in terms of accessing refuge or safe emergency accommodation. We recognise this as a key priority area of work.
While good progress has been made for specialist services for those with protected characteristics, such as older victims and LGBTQ+ victims, it is important to continue to monitor and develop these services ensuring the victim’s voice is embedded into practice.
Survivor involvement and coproduction is integral to this area of work, and while there has been progress in this area, we recognise there is more work to do to develop and embed the survivor framework along with partners.
We will continue to prioritise those who are most vulnerable and at highest risk by supporting and developing existing services, and working within multiagency frameworks such as MARAC to ensure safeguarding victims and children remains a core focus of everyday practise.
We will continue to work with colleagues across Education to keep the VAWDASV profile high and further embed the Whole School Approach.
Partnership working between statutory services and the voluntary sector in this area is strong, with excellent attendance and engagement at the VAWDASV Leadership Groups in both Swansea and NPT and many partnership subgroups which focus on specific work streams. Collaboration with the voluntary sector is a key part of all planning and delivery.
Key areas for further development are:
- Primary/community-based prevention and early intervention
- Survivor engagement
- Focus on holding perpetrators of VAWDASV to account
- Further engagement at a senior leadership level
- Complex need provision.