AMs Support Law To Protect Women

Welsh Assembly members have voted in favour of a new law to protect women against domestic abuse.

Opposition parties reached an agreement to support the controversial Bill, after amendments were made last week.

There were claims its focus on women was “watered down” and that it needed to be more gender specific.

This prompted a name change to become the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Bill.

Opposition AMs had also threatened to block the proposed legislation unless it was strengthened.

It’s thought there’ll be a “whole-scale change in the culture of schools”, with children and young people being educated about tolerance, respect, equality and healthy relationships.

There'll also be "Champions" in schools that will be specifically trained to offer guidance and support to those affected.

Tina Reece from Welsh Women’s Aid says she’s confident that it will make a difference:

“I think there are some really great things in there around education and whole-school approach.

“But also this underlying thing of a culture change which I think is what we fundamentally need to make a difference.

“We’re in a really good place to at least try and make a difference because we can’t just have the status-quo, it’s not working.”

South Wales Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sophie Howe says she couldn’t be more delighted:

"This legislation will help public services in Wales to focus on what they can do to tackle violence against women and to provide better access to services for victims.

“We offer our congratulations to the sector and everyone who’s been involved in campaigning to bring this legislation about and we thank our Assembly Members for making it a reality."

It’s the first legislation of its kind in the UK and the only law of its kind in Europe to include a specific focus on Violence against Women.

However it won’t become law until it receives Royal approval.