Last Updated: 03/10/2019
On Thursday 3rd October at Cardiff County Hall, Police & Crime Commissioner, Rt Hon Alun Michael, welcomed partners from across South Wales to formally launch a new joint strategy to tackle Violence against Women and Girls across all local communities.
Tackling violence and abuse has been a key priority for the Commissioner since he was first elected due to the overwhelming evidence that women are more likely to experience violence and abuse in terms of frequency and severity and it’s a priority shared by Chief Constable Matt Jukes. Deputy Minister Jane Hutt was also invited to speak at the launch to reinforce the messages of joint action.
The Commissioner and his team have worked with the Chief Constable and a range of partner organisations to draw up the ‘Tackling Violence against Women and Girls Strategy: 2019 – 2024’. The Strategy builds upon the progress achieved since 2012 and has been developed through listening to the experience of victims, survivors and partners and identifies four key priority areas for action:
An emphasis on the importance of learning from the direct experience of victims and survivors has been central to the development of the approach in South Wales, enabling the police and partners to work collaboratively to improve awareness and understanding of the complexities of tackling Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence.
Speaking at the launch, Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said:
“Within South Wales there is a clear understanding between the police and our partners that no single organisation or action will end the type of violence and abuse that has been a scourge of society for decades and generations. We know, beyond doubt, that only by working together through a Public Health approach will we be able to change the future.
“I’m delighted to welcome the Minister, Jane Hutt, to speak at the launch. She has been a lifelong campaigner on these issues and our message is that Welsh Government and South Wales Police are committed to do all we can to end this scourge in South Wales communities and we need the help of everyone if we are to succeed.
“Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence is devastating and often results in a lifetime of adversity for victims and their families, which in many instances will be perpetuated through the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). It can and does affect people from all walks of life, but it is not an inevitable part of our society or culture – it is abhorrent and it is preventable, which is why it has been so important to collectively review, refocus and reiterate our unwavering commitment to playing our part in making sure it is treated as such.
“This new joint strategy builds upon the progress we have made together since we introduced the first-ever South Wales Police Plan for Tackling Violence against Women and Girls (2014-17). Initiatives we have taken such as IRIS, working with the staff of GP surgeries, which has resulted in over 1,200 referrals and DRIVE, through which we are now tackling perpetrator behaviour, are becoming fundamental to the partnership response in South Wales, demonstrating our shared determination to deliver a ‘Whole System Approach’.
“The voices of victims and survivors of violence and abuse and their families are at the heart of our work. We are grateful to all those who have so willingly been involved to help us improve our approaches; together with our partners and public we can and will continue to be bold and innovative in how we tackle these issues with a clear focus on lasting change and improving the well-being of future generations.
“The new strategy is focused on violence against women and girls because the prevalence statistics are stark. South Wales Police are committed to tackling all forms of violence, whether it is through bullying or street violence or abuse affecting men, with each incident of violence treated on its own merits, but our strategic approach has to have a clear focus on prevalence and threat, harm and risk.”
A copy of the strategy can be downloaded from the Commissioner website here.
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