Campaign Goes Live to Win War on Domestic Violence; 'Changing How Men Perceive Women' Is Key

Article excerpt

Byline: Julia McWatt

A NATIONAL campaign aimed at tackling domestic abuse and changing the attitudes of men towards women is being launched today.

The Violence Against Women campaign will go live across Wales as part of the Welsh Assembly Government's Right to be Safe strategy which aims to stop violence against women.

It is estimated that domestic abuse affects one in four women and kills two women every week in England and Wales.

Social Justice Minister Carl Sargeant, who announced the campaign today, said: "No forms of violence or abuse, be it verbal, physical or mental, should be tolerated.

Everyone has the right to lead a safe and violence-free life and I am committed to doing everything I can to make this happen."

The campaign focuses on stamping out unacceptable attitudes and behaviour towards women before it leads to more violent forms of abuse.

It shows how seemingly innocent actions may be a step too far and lead to women feeling unsafe.

The launch has been welcomed by women's aid groups across Wales, who say that changing attitudes is a crucial step in tackling the issue of domestic violence. Wales' Commissioner for the Women's National Commission, Adele Baumgardt, said she was pleased that the campaign highlights the link between gender inequality and violence against women.

She said: "Gender discrimination affectswomeninWales daily and can leave them feeling intimidated and even frightened. "We need to change how men perceive women, challenge inappropriate attitudes and show men how damaging these can be. hope that this campaign will give victims the confidence to come forward and ask for help."

The TV advertisement follows a woman on her journey through an average day, showing a range of abusive behaviours that she encounters from men on her way to work, in the office, out at a bar and on her way home in the night.

Paula Hardy, chief executive of Welsh Women's Aid, who played an active role in the campaign's development said: "We're very pleased with this powerful new campaign, which links everyday behaviours which demean women and the attitudes underlying these behaviours with the epidemic social problem of violence against women. …