What makes Welsh Women’s Aid an exciting, energetic and enjoyable place to work? It’s the people who work here. Throughout the organisation there is a passion and drive that is palpable. Our relentless determination to succeed unites us and creates a unique working culture.
Core to this culture are our vision, mission and values:
“The shared values and analysis of violence against women, and being a
member of a national organisation that has the same analysis of the issues,
is of the greatest value to us” local specialist service
Welsh Women’s Aid is a feminist organisation, and our values are founded on commitments to human rights, anti-discrimination and freedom from oppression. We endorse global evidence that violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence is gendered, a cause and consequence of the unequal position of women and girls in society, a violation of human rights, and is entirely preventable.
Our approach is founded on the following value-base:
We are feminist and value diversity of lived experiences – we amplify diverse voices, recognising that identities and life experience impact on experiences of abuse and access to support, safety and justice. We advocate ending violence against women and girls alongside the liberation of all women and girls from multiple oppressions like sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, ageism, ableism, transphobia, to attain social justice for all.
We promote integrity – we are accountable, and place survivors’ voices and their lived experiences central to our work. We encourage respect, transparency and learning from experience, we challenge misuse of power and promote social responsibility in all we do.
We collaborate – we work with survivors, specialist services, other organisations, individuals and communities, to capacity-build services and to evidence and deliver what works in preventing violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.
We empower – we advocate a rights-based approach so that all women and children can achieve their full potential, and we promote services led by and for women/minoritised groups as being vital to meeting needs and to achieving social, economic and political liberation from patriarchy, racism, and other oppressions.
We transform – we are committed to challenging inequalities and discrimination, to combining high-quality services with activism for social change, and building a movement that ends violence against women and girls and liberates women and girls from multiple and intersecting oppressions to benefit everyone.
“Professional, collaborative, open … I’ve had so much communication offering support in different areas, very friendly, open and helpful” local specialist service
Our values and approach underpin our work nationally and that of our members.
Placing these values central to our approach means we embed them into our recruitment processes, into how we work and how we collaborate with others. It means being uncompromising when faced with challenging misuse of power or oppressive practices, it means sharing expertise, accepting that we may not always get it right, but being committed to learning and moving forward for the benefit of all survivors of abuse.
Our approach is informed by evidence that women and girls, and men and boys, experience and perpetrate violence and abuse differently. The sex and gender of victim and perpetrator influences the nature of the abuse, its severity, harm, and lethality. Women and girls, in particular, experience abuse and regulation in everyday lives at higher rates, and it is men across all groups that are more likely to perpetrate abuse against women, men and children.
Violence happens in same-sex relationships and against trans people, and women also use violence. So, we are committed to anti-discriminatory practice and to achieving safety, support, protection and justice for all women and girls, men and boys, and for trans people. Our transgender policy commits to supporting the realisation of rights for trans people, and the delivery of trans inclusive services and support.
We support evidence of the importance of single-sex spaces and services that benefit women (endorsed by exemptions under the Equality Act 2010), and the need for services designed, delivered and led ‘by and for’ women, Black and minoritised women and other groups. Evidence shows ‘by and for’ services best meet support needs and also contribute to social, economic and political liberation from patriarchy, racism, and other oppressions.
These values and approach do not preclude organisations in our federation employing men, supporting men and boys, or working with perpetrators. Providing needs-led services that are sensitive to sex, gender, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, age and ability is a vital component of specialist services, of effectively supporting survivors and intervening with perpetrators.
We understand the crucial importance of focussing on violence against women and girls as distinct and connected forms of abuse. Gendered norms and stereotypes, that are often the basis of violence against women and girls, reinforce and intersect with sexism, racism, homophobia and other discrimination, which harm us all, oppress women and girls as a group, and are a barrier to achieving equality. We are committed to challenging, disrupting and changing social and cultural norms and dismantling patriarchy and intersecting systems and structures that perpetuate abuse, harms and inequalities.
“The feminist perspective is critical to the long term vision to eradicate violence against women, nothing we do is outside that lens, and I want my national organisation to be as vocal and as steadfast in that, and we mustn’t lose that”
local specialist service