Jane Dodds questions First Minister on preventing violence against women

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds used her first question as a Member of the Senedd to the First Minister to demand action on ending violence against women and girls.

This comes at a time when Operation Encompass, an initiative set up to notify schools if domestic abuse has taken place in pupils’ homes, report that there has been a huge rise in Public Protection Notices to do with domestic abuse to 2254 from September 2020 to March 2021 compared to 1043 during the same period in the previous year. The impact of Covid-19 appears to be severe.

What actions, Jane asked,  will the Welsh Government take to end violence against women and girls, particularly within black, Asian and minority ethnic communities?

After Mark Drakeford talked about an increase in funding that the Government had put in place, she followed up with:

Can I just follow that through with a focus on what’s been happening in this COVID time? We all know that there’s been a significant increase in the need for refuge places, in the need for services, and better, more focused responses to those women and children who are coming forward after these lockdown periods. I’m particularly interested to hear what issues and services will be targeted into rural areas, where we know that there are particular shortages of those effective responses and services.

You can watch the exchange here at about  32 minutes in.

Afterwards, Jane said:

Welsh Women’s Aid have highlighted that at least 90% of services are incurring additional costs due the circumstances caused by COVID-19.

There’s been a significant increase in the need for refuge places, in the need for services, and better, more targeted responses to those women and children who are coming forward after these lockdown periods.

I welcome the 8% uplift in funding from the Welsh Government but more must be done to ensure that women everywhere are able to access the support they need and that rural communities, in particular, are not left behind.

Women who are fleeing domestic violence, especially from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities must be given the refuge, support and services they desperately need to move on and rebuild their lives.

The Government must finally recognise that our services are being stretched and fund them accordingly.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats continue to call on the Welsh Government to safeguard funding for specialist services for victims of violence to adequately meet anticipated demand during and after the pandemic.

It is so good to see Jane in her place in the Senedd questioning the Government on such important things.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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2 Comments

  • Brad Barrows 9th Jun '21 - 11:50pm

    I hate violence by men against women and girls. However I also hate violence by men on other men/boys. The statistics suggest that more men than women are victims of violence by other men. Female murder victims, for example, are usually between a quarter and a third of the total murder victims per year. So our focus has to be tackling the violence of some men or women/girls and other men,

  • Brad Barrows 9th Jun '21 - 11:51pm

    Sorry, final sentence of my comment should read “So our focus has to be tackling the violence of some men on women/girls and other men”.

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