Latest News

  • New regulations on housing benefit for refuge residents

    As flagged up in WWA's newsletters, changes to Housing Benefit rules for refuge residents (previously defined as 'exempt accommodation') have now been published.

    They include a broader definition that should include most refuge services. This is good news and represents the results of more than eighteen months work for Welsh Women's Aid and its members which has included liaison with other supported housing stakeholders, letters and meetings with the Department for Work and Pensions, and written evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee.

  • Legal Aid Update: Evidence Gateway Widened for victims of Domestic Abuse

    Back in 2013 changes to family law legal aid meant that many people were no longer able to access legal help, although victims of domestic violence were still allowed access through the 'Domestic Violence Gateway' which allowed a limited number of limited types of 'evidence'.
    Welsh Women's Aid and Women's Aid Federation England teamed up with Rights of Women to campaign for the Ministry of Justice to campaign for a widening of these evidence types, which evidence from our members showed was acting as a barrier for many women trying to flee domestic abuse.

    As of the 22nd of April 2014 the Ministry of Justice has announced that new evidence that will be accepted for women affected by violence to access legal aid, including evidence of police bail for a domestic violence offence, a Domestic Violence Protection Order, evidence of referral to domestic violence support services from a health professional and evidence of not being able to access refuge accommodation.

  • UN Special Rapporteur for VAW visits Wales

    WWA is honoured to be hosting a meeting between the VAW third sector in Wales and the visiting UN Special Rapporteur for VAW, Rashida Manjoo, who is visiting the UK on an official mission this month.

    If you would like to take part in the meeting, which is being held on the 10th of April 2pm at WWA's offices, please email TinaReece@welshwomensaid.org.uk

  • WWA response to HMIC report on domestic abuse

    Although much of it makes for stark and concerning reading, Welsh Women's Aid welcomes today's report released by HMIC 'Everyone's Business: Improving the Police Response to Domestic Abuse'.

    For many years Welsh Women's Aid have remained concerned by some Police responses to domestic abuse, which has often been treated as a second class crime. This situation has eroded victim confidence and led to very real issues of safety for women and children escaping abuse.

  • Launch of ‘Domestic Violence Protection Notices/Orders’ (DVPOs) and the ‘Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme’ (DVDS/Clare’s Law)

    National rollout from March 2014

    As part of an attempt to better protect victims of domestic abuse, the Police will be implementing these two new policies as of next month. WWA cautiously welcomes these two new tools for dealing with DA/V, but urges extreme care be taken in regards to whether these options are always the safest or most appropriate options. WWA instead urges renewed focus on the foundations of strong and sensitive basic Police responses to DA/V, alongside information sharing and partnership working with specialist organisations such as WWA.

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Domestic abuse is the actual or threatened physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse of a woman by a partner, family member or someone with whom there is, or has been, a close relationship. This abuse also relates to the perpetrator allowing or causing a child to witness, or be at risk of witnessing, domestic abuse.

Welsh Women's Aid support the UN Violence Against Women definition of domestic abuse

It starts with screams and must never end in silence. 12% to 15% of European women over 16 have suffered domestic abuse in a relationship – too many have died. Many more continue to suffer physical and sexual violence from former partners, even after the break-up. It's time to find a way out!

Council of Europe

What is domestic abuse?

Welsh Women’s Aid define domestic abuse as "the actual or threatened physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse of a woman by a partner, family member or someone with whom there is, or has been, a close relationship. This abuse also relates to the perpetrator allowing or causing a child to witness, or be at risk of witnessing, domestic abuse."

Domestic abuse essentially involves the misuse of power and exercise of control by one person over another with whom there is or has been a close relationship.

Domestic abuse occurs irrespective of gender, race, class, age, religion, sexuality, mental ability, physical ability, income, lifestyle or geographical area of residence.

Statistics show that 97% of reported incidences of domestic abuse are perpetrated by men against women. However, Welsh Women's Aid recognises that domestic abuse can occur within same sex relationships and that, in a very small number of cases, women are the perpetrators of abuse.

Research has shown that 22% of lesbian and bisexual women have experienced domestic abuse, but that it is even less likely to be reported from this group. Women's Aid groups are committed to supporting all female victims of domestic abuse.

You can see Frequently Asked Questions about Domestic Abuse on the Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline website.

There are many different forms of domestic abuse but they fall mainly into 4 categories. These are:

For more information about abuse, you can visit the Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline website