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.

See All News

3 million women across the UK experience rape, domestic violence, forced marriage, stalking, sexual exploitation, trafficking and other forms of violence every year.

End Violence Against Women

At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime — with the abuser usually someone known to her

United Nations, 2006

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is any sexual act where a person is forced to do something they don’t want to. They may be forced with threats of physical violence or just enough fear to make them comply with their abuser’s wishes. Sexual abuse of adults covers a range of inappropriate sexual behaviours that cause distress or harm to an individual. Sexual abuse can be actual or threatened and causes physical and emotional damage.

Sexual abuse can happen within a marriage. Marital rape is often unreported and unrecognised within a marriage even by those experiencing the abuse. Culturally, there is an assumption by many women that they have a ‘duty’ to satisfy their husband’s or partner’s sexual desires and demands even if they do not want to. But, rape is a crime, even if you know the person.

Sexual abuse within marriage may also cause the person experiencing the abuse to feel that it is their fault, or the attacker may act as if the abuse took place with the consent of the person being attacked, leading to confusion and guilt.

Sexual abuse includes:

·        Rape

·        Forcing someone into sexual activities against their will (for example when they say no, are ill or tired)

·        Using objects violently during sex

·        Forcing someone to have sex with another person when they do not wish to

·        Sharing sexual stories or images about you without your consent

·        Calling you sexual or derogatory names

·        Withholding sex or affection

·        Forcing someone to perform sexual acts in front of others when they do not want to

·        Forcing someone to mimic pornography

·        Forcing someone to be photographed or filmed during sex / whilst sexual abuse is taking place

·        Forcing someone to watch or look at pornography.

If you are experiencing sexual abuse, or domestic abuse of any kind, contact the Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.

The Rape Crisis Centre can help you to find your nearest centre.