Welsh Government asks Wales to Make A Stand
On the 30th June 2014, the same week when the Gender-Based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill went before the National Assembly, the Welsh Government launched an awareness campaign asking people to make a stand against all forms of such violence and abuse.
The Welsh Government is asking the people of Wales to openly declare their intolerance of these types of abuse by posting photographs of themselves linking arms on Facebook and Twitter and using the hashtag #makingastandwales.
The photos will mirror an advertising campaign on poster sites and LCD panels around Welsh railway stations, showing groups of figures linking arms.
This year-long campaign will pose the question ‘What will you do?’ and will raise awareness of the support services available to those experiencing domestic abuse, violence against women and sexual violence.
More information will also be made available to the public on what to do if they suspect someone may be a victim or perpetrator.
All those in need of help or further information should visit the Live Fear Free website www.livefearfree.org.uk and can call the All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.
The Minister for Local Government and Government Business, Lesley Griffiths AM, said: "Colleagues, friends, neighbours and even family members may be afraid of acting on their suspicions of abuse for fear they are mistaken, interfering or even making the victim’s situation worse. With this campaign, we aim to empower people with information to act in the right way if they suspect abuse may be taking place.
"We want people to openly declare they are united against these types of abuse. So we are appealing to groups of friends, neighbours, office, shop or factory workers, and social groups from book clubs to sports teams to publicly make a stand and begin to help us break this taboo."
The Welsh Government’s funding in this area totals £4m which supports third sector organisations delivering direct services to victims and education on healthy relationships in schools. The funding also supports domestic abuse co-ordinators and independent domestic violence advisers across Wales, as well as the 24 hour All-Wales domestic abuse helpline to provide help, advice and emergency support.
What to do if you suspect someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, gender-based violence, which includes violence against women, or sexual violence:
Don't worry about being the one who first acknowledges that something may be wrong. But also don't stop asking. Just because a victim doesn't bring it up every time you see them, don't assume it's gone away or 'sorted itself out'.
2. Respond first time.
How you react to hearing that a friend or acquaintance is suffering from domestic abuse, gender-based violence or sexual violence can have a profound influence on their next step. Try to be reassuring, understanding and supportive.
3. Take action early.
The earlier you can help, the less chance the situation has of escalating out of control. If you’re not sure what to do, call the All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.
4. Listen and Share.
Try and make yourself available and take the time to listen. If you need to share what you know with a professional body or agency, then ensure you have got the permission and trust of the victim.
There is lots of information on being better prepared, as well as spotting the signs and symptoms of such violence and abuse. Visit livefearfree.org.uk to find out more.