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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The Facts

  • One in every 4 women in Wales & England will experience domestic abuse by their partner or ex-partner at some time in their life.
  • In the UK 2 women a week are murdered by a partner or ex-partner.
  • Incidents of domestic abuse make up nearly a quarter of violent crime and a women will be assaulted on average 35 times before reporting it to the police.


But the term 'domestic abuse' doesn't only include physical violence - it describes any abusive behaviour repeatedly used by one person to control and/or dominate another person with whom they have or have had an intimate relationship. It also includes the exertion of control and/ or domination of one family member over another.

  • In 90% of domestic abuse incidents children are in the same or the next room (Hughes, 1992).

Even when it appears that children aren't being directly abused themselves, research shows that they are likely to be aware of what is happening.

  • One third of children will try and intervene during attacks, and children sometimes feel guilty if they don't come to their parent's aid.

It is estimated that between one to two thirds of children in homes where the mother is being abused are also at risk of being directly abused themselves.

See the Children & Young People's pages on the effects of domestic abuse on children and young people.

View Statistics & Research pages for more information