New Domestic Violence Law in Wales Passed Unanimously
Classed as a ground breaking new law, The Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act has now passed in Wales.
The Act in Schools
After threats to stop the Bill from becoming law, it was finally passed in the Welsh Assembly unanimously after fierce debates about how it would be implemented in schools. It was agreed that children would be taught about healthy relationships as a gateway to explaining to them the complexities of domestic abuse and how it can come in many forms.
Witnessing domestic abuse can have serious behavioural and emotional effects on children. They often suffer from anxiety, withdrawal and other mental health disorders.
Some children even feel responsible for abuse, which manifests itself into self-loathing that can have an ongoing effect into adulthood. Although the link has not been established in the UK, worldwide studies have shown that children who witness domestic abuse sometimes go on to become perpetrators of violence or fall victim to violence themselves.
Statistically, the effects of domestic violence and abuse in Wales are high and initiatives like this help to counter the problems being faced by local communities. In 2011, Welsh Women's Aid member groups supported 1063 women with a further 152 put on a waiting list to receive community support. The Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline who collect statistical information also found that half of their callers reportedly had children. This just shows the severe impact domestic violence and abuse is having on Wales.
Domestic Abuse Clinics in Cardiff
Although the Act's name has been changed to reflect female victims, it is still clear that everyone regardless of gender should have the right to live free of fear. National training frameworks are being put in place to support the Act for key public sector and specialist service providers across Wales. Just like other places in the UK, domestic violence services have been closing down in Wales leaving both men and women vulnerable.
If you need specialist advice about domestic violence, abuse or children's issues, our family law solicitor Jenine Abdo
conducts regular community legal clinics for Communities First in Cardiff Bay
and a national Women's and Domestic Violence agency in Cardiff. Legal aid is still available for those that have suffered domestic abuse or violence
who meet the eligibility requirements. By using a solicitor, you can aim to build a secure future.
If you need help or know someone that does, visit these sites for help, support and information:Women's AidMankind InitiativeRefuge