National Context

The implementation of the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act in March 2016 set out a programme of reform with the focus of prevention, protection and improved support for victims of violence and abuse with greater emphasis on bringing perpetrators to justice and ensuring that victims get the support they need when they need it.

Through improvements in the
  • Arrangements for the prevention of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence;
  • Arrangements for the protection of victims of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence;
  • Arrangements for the support of people affected by violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

There are several pieces of Welsh legislation which impact on local, regional and national strategic objectives and actions identified in WA-RCT strategic plans take into account. 

The Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015  sets out 7 wellbeing goals which are relevant to prevention of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 provides a legal framework for improving the well-being of people who need care and support, carers who need support and for transforming social services in Wales.
The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 enshrines in legislation the role of the local authority in preventing and alleviating homelessness.  This act specifies that whether a person or a member of that person’s household is at risk of abuse, including domestic abuse, is a factor in determining whether it is reasonable to continue to occupy accommodation.
The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 sets out a new approach to joint contracts which will enable perpetrators to be targeted for eviction.

Domestic violence facts and figures 

Domestic violence which includes sexual violence costs Wales £303.5m annually: £202.6m in service costs and £100.9m to lost economic output.  These figures do not include any element of human and emotional costs, which the research estimates costs Wales an additional £522.9m
1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse during their lifetime.

1 woman a week in the UK is killed as a result of domestic abuse.

1.4 million women a year in the UK report experiencing incidents of domestic abuse.

2/3 all women and 85% of younger women experience sexual harassment.

The Crime Study for England and Wales 2015 (CSEW - 2015) published that:-

  • 14-25% of women are sexually assaulted by intimate partners during their relationship.
  • In over 57% of serious sexual assaults on women since the age of 16, the offender was an intimate partner or ex-partner.
  • Between 40 and 45% of women in abusive relationships will also be sexually assaulted during the course of their relationship.
  • Over half of women raped by an intimate partner were sexually assaulted multiple times by the same partner.
  • 18% of female victims of spousal rape say their children witnessed the crime.
  • Marital rape is the most underreported form of sexual assault.
  • In 2015 the Crown Prosecution Service reached it’s highest volume ever of police referrals, charged defendants, prosecutions and convictions for ‘violence against women and girls’ resulting in over 11,000 more defendants – a 17% increase since 2013-14.  Despite this increase in volume, the conviction rate for rape fell by 17% of offences that proceeded to court.