24 June 2009>
Tackling violence against women and children is at the heart of a new three year strategic action plan that is being issued for consultation today (Monday 22 June 2009) by Minister for Social Justice and Local Government, Dr Brian Gibbons.
The new draft action plan builds on the All Wales Domestic Abuse strategy published in 2005 but goes much wider than domestic abuse in the home.
Recognising that women and children are suffer disproportionately, not only in the home but often fearing for their safety in their communities, the draft action plan has been strengthened to tackle issues such as prostitution, sexual assault, forced marriage and trafficking.
Domestic abuse in the home is, however, still central to the plan, setting out how domestic violence will continue to be tackled across Wales building on the successes like the introduction of domestic abuse coordinators across Wales and domestic abuse one-stop shops.
Although women and children suffer disproportionately adult male victims of domestic abuse are not forgotten with action proposed to raise awareness about support for male victims of domestic abuse.
The draft plan has been developed following a comprehensive review of the issues surrounding domestic abuse and an in depth discussion with partner agencies. It sets out how the Welsh Assembly Government, Home Office Crime Team in Wales and other partners will work together.
The Minister launched the consultation on a visit to the Caerphilly domestic abuse one-stop-shop in Ystrad Mynach.
The Minister said: "There is no doubt that we are making progress in supporting services for victims of domestic abuse through the network of coordinators, support for the national helpline and one stop shops like the one here in Ystrad Mynach.
"However, it is very clear that women and children are not only much more likely to suffer from domestic abuse in the home but also often fear for their safety in their communities. This is why we have strengthened the draft plan to be much wider to encompass action on violence against women and children that take place outside of the home."
Caerphilly County Borough Council's cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Lyn Ackerman said, "We are delighted to welcome Dr Brian Gibbons to the Safer Caerphilly Multi Agency Centre (MAC), the county borough's "one stop shop" for victims of domestic abuse and their families.
"The primary aim of the agency is to significantly reduce the number of people that victims of domestic abuse need to speak to in order to get the help they need for themselves and their families.
"We are honoured that Dr Gibbons has chosen to launch the consultation at the Safer Caerphilly MAC."
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