Latest News

  • 16 Days of Action, 16 Stories of Hope and Survival

    Welsh Women’s Aid are looking for 16 women who have experience of domestic abuse or violence against women to contribute to an eBook for the 16 Days of Action to End Violence against Women.


  • Press Release

    Click here to read Welsh Women's Aid's latest statement on Ched Evans.

  • New Vacancies at Carmarthen DAS

    There are two new exciting vacancies at Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service.

    Click here to read more about the vacancy for Finance & Admin Support Worker


    Click here to read more about the vacancy for Refuge Assistant.

    For more information or for an application pack, please contact Ruth on

  • Press Releases

    Click here to read Welsh Women's Aid's press release on the reinstatement of Ched Evans -  Welsh Women’s Aid Ched Evans Reinstatement PR

    Click here to read Welsh Women's Aid's press release on the Home Office domestic abuse consultation -  Welsh Women’s Aid DA Offence Consultation PR

    Click here to read our press release on Welsh Women's Aid's evidence on the Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill - WWA Press Release on Evidence

  • VAW and other news

    Research request
    Elinor Lloyd, a PhD student at the University of Warwick researching child-animal relationships in violent homes is looking to interview a sample of children/young people who have escaped domestic abuse and would be happy to talk about any relationships or experiences that they have had with pets. If you would like to contribute to this research, please contact or call 07795 490 678.

    Exciting Service User Involvement Project at Swansea Women’s Aid “Your Opinion Matters” engages with young people through ‘urban street art!’
    Sally Hughes (Engagement and Participation Officer) has been meeting our members to learn more about the different ways they are engaging with service users. Last week she was in Swansea where she learnt about a project funded by the Big Lottery that aims to engage and involve women, young people and children who have experienced or been affected by domestic abuse and want to have a say in influencing public services. It aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse and offers a way for young people who have been affected by domestic abuse in Swansea to have a ‘voice’ and to increase knowledge of local and national domestic abuse issues. There will be regular opportunities to meet other young people, gain confidence, skills and knowledge.

    Kay Lemon, ‘Your Opinion Matters Project Worker’, has put together a survey for women, young people and children in the Swansea area. You can access it at Please do share if you know anyone who would like to get involved. You can find out more about the project by contacting Kay on 01792 512 462 or email If you have a service user involvement project that you wish to share, please contact

    Women in Business Day at the BBC
    In order to increase the number of women in business who contribute to output on radio, television and online, BBC Wales is holding a free one day introduction to the world of broadcasting to give women an insight into how they work at the BBC, and to help build a network of female contributors.
    During the day there will be an opportunity for those selected to experience the practicalities of being interviewed in a radio station and on camera. There will also be an opportunity to meet production teams and other women in business.  
    Applicants will need to be:
    • Female
    • Able to speak knowledgeably about their specialist area
    • Not already a regular contributor to BBC Cymru Wales output
    • Live/work in west or south Wales
    • Available on November 21st, 2014 to attend an all-day event in Cardiff

    Up to a total of 18 places are available.
    To apply, follow this link –
    If you’d like more information about the event, please contact Catrin Griffith at

    Training Opportunity
    Multi Agency Front Line Professionals Training Module - “Working with men who experience domestic abuse”
    One Day Course: November 19th 2014
    While the majority of victims are women, men do experience domestic abuse and need support.  It is often hard for men to get help in these situations because of fears about being ridiculed, or fear of not being believed.
    Training content includes:
    • Understanding the issues for men who experience domestic abuse
    • Barriers to disclosure
    • Assessing men on a scale from victim to perpetrator
    • How to use the Dyn assessment tool

    Venue: Safer Wales, 1st Floor, Castle House, Castle Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BS     
    Cost:  £95.00
    This training will be useful for both managers and frontline professionals wishing to develop their understanding, in relation to providing appropriate responses to male clients experiencing domestic abuse.
    See here for further information and to book onto this course.

See All News

Many women and children are forced to stay with violent partners because they feel they can’t leave their pets behind – and in some instances violent men are also violent towards the family pets


Abuse in the home is not a rare problem, it is just rarely admitted as one

Hidden Hurt -

Psychological / Emotional Abuse

Emotional and Psychological abuse includes a range of non-physical controlling behaviours that cause emotional damage and undermine a persons sense of well-being.

Emotional and Psychological abuse includes:

·      Telling someone they are worthless,

·        Telling them no one else wants them,

·        Forcing someone to do things at an exact time or in an exact way,

·        Undermining a persons actions, thought and beliefs,

·        Telling someone they are weak and could not manage to look after themselves on their own,

·        Making someone believe they are mad,

·        Telling someone that the domestic violence and abuse is their fault.

·        Not allowing someone to have visitors,

·        Controlling who a person is friends with,

·        Not allowing them to go out,

·        Not allowing someone to see their family and friends,

·        Not allowing someone to be left alone with other people,

·        Not allowing someone to use the phone, send letters or emails.

·        Locking someone in a room or house,

·        Not allowing someone to go out to work, not allowing someone to go to college or evening classes,

·        Accompanying someone everywhere that they go in order to keep control over what they do, who they see and what they say.

·        Telling someone they are a bad parent,

·        Getting children to say and do things to upset someone,

·        Encouraging children to get involved in the abuse.

·        Abusing someone’s children or pets,

·        Damaging possessions,

·        Accusing someone of lying when they are not,

·        Telling someone they are fat, ugly and useless,

·        Making someone believe that no one else likes them.

·        Threatening to harm someone, or to harm their children or pets.

·        Threatening to have someone locked up saying that they are mad,

·        Threatening to have someone deported or withholding care if someone is aged, ill or disabled,

·        Telling someone they will find and kill them if they leave,

·        Threatening to abuse someone in front of their children, family or friends.

Emotional abuse is often difficult to recognise. It can be very subtle, often being overlooked by a person’s friends and family. The person affected may not even think or feel that abuse is taking place.

Emotional abuse can affect women and children experiencing it in many ways. It can leave deep psychological scars and can seriously damage the self-confidence of the person experiencing the abuse.

Research suggests that acts of animal abuse may, in some circumstances, be used to coerce, control and intimidate women and children to remain in, or be silent about, their abusive situation.  The threat or actual abuse of a pet can prevent women from leaving situations of domestic violence.

Many women and children are forced to stay with violent partners because they feel they can’t leave their pets behind – and in some instances violent men are also violent towards the family pets. Research shows that there is a link between animal abuse and domestic violence: men who are violent to women may threaten to harm or actually kill a beloved pet in order to intimidate their partner, therefore maintaining their power and control.


According to the organisation Paws for Kids, 46% of women indicated that their partners had threatened to harm their pets, 29% indicated their partners had harmed their pets, 81% of the respondents had children and 41% of the children in these families had witnessed threats or actual violence to their much-loved pet.

The Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline Fourth Year Statistics report recorded that 137 reports were made regarding the perpetrator being abusive towards the children, with 27 reports regarding being abusive towards pets.

A study by Women’s Aid Federation England also suggests that pet abuse is used by perpetrators of domestic abuse in the UK to try and control and coerce their partners/ex partners and children, reporting that callers to their National Helpline say that on average 9 pets a week are or have been abused by a perpetrator.

Why do Perpetrators use threats to pets?

According to Paws for Kids:

·        A perpetrator will use whatever there is in the home to maintain his power and control over his partner and children.

·        By harming a pet, a perpetrator reinforces a sense of terror in his partner and children. A perpetrator may not need to do anything else to demonstrate power.

·        By killing a pet, a perpetrator may be destroying the women or child's only form of comfort & support by cutting them off from the unconditional love of a pet, this will inevitably add to their feelings of isolation and despair.

·        If a pet is left in the home when a woman and her children go in to a refuge, a man may choose to harm a pet to re-enforce the fear that if she is not there her pets are not safe.

·        By threatening to harm a much-loved pet a child's silence can be bought by an abuser.

For many women and children who leave violent relationships, the options open to them regarding their pets are very limited. The services listed below ensure pets are cared for by a volunteer foster-carer until their owner is able to be reunited with them. All placements are strictly confidential.

RSPCA PetRetreat

Living with domestic abuse is hard, but can be made more difficult if you have a much loved family pet. Most refuges do not allow animals, which is where the RSPCA may be able to help you, your family and pet.

The RSPCA's PetRetreat service may be able to arrange for foster carers to look after your pet if you are fleeing domestic abuse. Your pet will be given a good home until you are settled and ready to look after it again.

If you have a pet and feel ready to leave your home to go into a refuge, or are in a refuge and have left your pet behind, please contact the RSPCA PetRetreat service.

Call: 0300 123 8278
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Please be aware that we can only take cats and dogs that are over six months old and established family pets. This is because it is very unsettling for animals so young or new to your family to be moved around so much.

The next step...
Our PetRetreat leaflet explains what will happen once you have made contact with us. It also details other services that may be able to help.

Please be assured that all communication with you is confidential and that no one will ever be able to trace you through your pets.

Other Services that may be able to help:

North Wales

The Buster Foundation
Areas covered: Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighire, Flintshire, Wrexham.
Fosters for women who are living in these counties and women who are going into a refuge in the areas listed. 
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Tel: 07722 361825

Cheshire and North of England based

0120 469 8999 (PAWS for Kids)


01554 750 100 (Llanelli Dogs Home)

01267 253847 (Paws and Claws - Bronwydd, Carmarthen)

01570 470 589 (Ty Agored, Cribyn, Lampeter)

01550 740 661 (Animal Rescue, Llandeust)

01267 237 958 (Animal Accident, Emergencies only, 4 Clos Morgan, Carmarthen)


01974 251 596 (Animal in Need)


01492 870 212 (Abandoned Animals)

01492 532 780 (RSPCA)

01492 532 346 (Animal Rescue)

Your local Women’s Aid group will also have more information about pet fostering schemes available in your area.

To contact your local Women’s Aid group please visit the Women’s Aid in Wales pages

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