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Domestic abuse

“Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence is everybody’s business”, say Welsh Government VAWDASV national advisers

"Mae Cam-drin Domestig a Thrais Rhywiol yn fusnes i bawb", meddai cynghorwyr cenedlaethol VAWDASV Llywodraeth Cymru

Today, the Welsh Government’s National Advisers on violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence – referred to as VAWDASV – released their annual report, commenting on achievements during 2019-20 against their objectives set last year, and noting progress made by Welsh Government in tackling violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Key progress identified in the report includes:

  • Implementing victim and survivor best practice into local strategies – shared learning from pan-Wales and pan-UK experts and stakeholders has been invaluable
  • Prioritising the voices of children as victims and witnesses of abuse, and embedding their needs into VAWDASV policy
  • Learning lessons from reviews of fatal incidents through partnership with cross-Government VAWDASV officials
  • Working with academic partners and specialist services to increase the shared understanding of ‘what works’ when addressing the harmful behaviours of those who perpetrate VAWDASV
  • Finding new ways to engage with survivors of VAWDASV who had so far not been reached
  • Refinements have been made to national indicators
  • Maximising funding opportunities for third sector service providers through work with the Sustainable Funding Group
  • Oral evidence was twice provided to the scrutiny committee for the Domestic Abuse Bill, highlighting VAWDASV work undertaken in Wales
  • Partnership work with the All Wales Honour-based Violence, Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation Leadership Group has been extended

In their report, the National Advisers said:

“It is fair to say that domestic violence and sexual abuse remains the epidemic of our times, where despite our progress there is much to do.

“We sincerely believe that the objectives we set last year are helping to transform the VAWDASV landscape in Wales.

“We will continue to work closely with VAWDASV specialist services and key partners in Wales. VAWDASV is everyone’s business – the voices of victims and survivors need to be heard loud and clear. Please, please listen. ”

Announcing the publication of the report, the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, said:

“I am very grateful to our brilliant National Advisers for the expertise and energy they bring to the role, and for their continuing support.  

“Their report describes progress against a set of challenging objectives. I am pleased that it recognises the ongoing strides made by Welsh Government.

“However, it is absolutely abhorrent that violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence still exists today in our society. This is a true scourge on communities, individuals and entire families.

“I am proud Wales is leading the way with our legislation and the crucial work people and organisations are doing across the country to bring violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence to an end, for everyone.”

Notes to editors

  • A Written Statement will also be published at 10.00am on Tuesday 29 September.
  • An embargoed copy of the National Advisers’ Annual 2019-20 is available on request – please contact
  • Yasmin Khan and Nazir Afzal OBE will be available for Zoom/ phone interviews between 1.00pm to 2.00pm on Tuesday 29 September – please contact for interview bids.
  • Nazir Afzal, a former chief prosecutor who took a lead role in the Rochdale sex trafficking prosecution case and Yasmin Khan, founder of a charity tackling honour-based violence have been the Welsh Government’s National Advisers on violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence - referred to as VAWDASV - since January 2018.
  • Yasmin and Nazir advise the Welsh Government on how most effectively to implement Wales’ pioneering Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015.

The report also notes key achievements of the Welsh Government in 2019-20:

  • The campaign ‘This is Sexual Abuse’ reached new audiences and emphasised control as a key element of sexual abuse.
  • The campaign ‘This is not love: this is control’ helped children and young people to understand what safe, equal and healthy relationships look like.
  • ‘Relationship and Sexuality Education’ (RSE) is being rolled out as part of the new curriculum.
  • The Welsh Government published guidance which holds perpetrators to account, and introduced new, evidence-based interventions into established perpetrator programmes.
  • Staff working for relevant public sector organisations have been trained in awareness of VAWDASV through the National Training Framework (NTF).
  • The Welsh Government published statutory guidance on commissioning VAWDASV services in May 2019, to make sure victims of VAWDASV are properly protected and supported by high quality service providers.

Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015:

National Training Framework:

National indicators: