Pounds 1m Extra to Fight Violence against Women in Wales; Forced Marriage among Issues to Be Targeted byWAG Strategy

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), March 26, 2010 | Go to article overview

Pounds 1m Extra to Fight Violence against Women in Wales; Forced Marriage among Issues to Be Targeted byWAG Strategy


Byline: David Williamson

A MILLION-POUND expansion of Assembly Government efforts to prevent violence againstwomen will clamp down on forced marriage in Wales.

The new strategy, announced yesterday, was welcomed by campaigners and will work to stop honour-based violence and end female genital mutilation. Training will also be provided so staff working in refuges will be able to help women take control of their finances. In addition, new efforts will be made to ensure the safety of women on trains and at stations.

Social Justice minister Carl Sargeant unveiled the six-year Right to be Safe strategy in Llanelli and acknowledged "more needs to be done". Each year in theUK80,000 women experience rape or attempted rape.

The action plan states the Assembly Government will "not shy away from tackling culturally sensitive issues such as forced marriage and female genital mutilation which are not acceptable in our society".

The Wales Violence Against Women Action Group - which includes Amnesty International and Welsh Women's Aid - applauded the strategy but wanted it to go further.

Its demands include: A comprehensive strategy to assist perpetrators and reduce re-offending; the inclusion of the full range of issues relating to violence against women in the school curriculum; and a stronger emphasis on helping black women and those from ethnic minorities.

Naomi Brightmore, chair of the action group, said: "Clearly, there are areas where we would have liked to see more progress, and we will be working with the AssemblyGovernment to continue to press for extra services to tackle real gaps.

"We want to see real action that will impact on the lives of women in Wales, and ultimately reduce the level of violence faced by women in Wales. We are also concerned about the confusion created by the separation of domestic abuse and violence against women issues, and the lack of a gender-specific strategy that could hinder services to both men and women."

Across Wales and England, 4. …

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