Senedd warned of increase in violence against women during Six Nations
Senedd Members have been warned that incidences of domestic violence against women “increase on days of rugby internationals.”
The Six Nations Championship will kick off on 4 February when Wales play Ireland. Wales will also play Scotland, Italy, Ireland, France and England before it draws to a close with the final match on 18 March.
Taking First Minister’s Questions today (31 January) on behalf of Mark Drakeford, was Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales.
Buffy Williams MS for Rhondda, asked about the Welsh Government’s violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence strategy which was announced in 2022.
Ms Williams said: “This strategy is to me one of the most important pieces of work the Welsh Government has announced this term.
“In Rhondda, the number of incidences of domestic violence and abuse reported to South Wales Police is – more often than not – double those of Merthyr, Taff and Cynon combined.
“We also know that these figures increase on days of rugby internationals.
“With the start of The Six Nations I’m campaigning, with partners, to raise awareness both nationally and locally, of what support is available …Support is available, thanks to the strategy, but we need people accessing it … and are we still able to fund services fully during current financial climate?”
Lesley Griffiths answered: “You mentioned the upcoming Six Nations and through our Live Fear Free campaigns that is a time we do publicise those more.
“We will continue to rise awareness of stalking, of harassment, of abuse, of violence against women in all aspects of life and that includes the streets and all public places. The Welsh Government continues to fund regional and specialist services …”
Joyce Watson MS for Mid and West Wales reminded the Senedd that the scope of the strategy was extended to include workplace harassment.
Ms Watson said: “Women’s safety can only come from a change in the culture that fails to tackle toxic masculinity (being something) we’ve seen numerous examples of that culture in various organisations in recent weeks.
“Do you agree Minister that trade unions are key to holding workplaces to account and making sure bosses are doing everything they can to prevent sexual harassment.
“We need good men in the room and employers to look at systems and procedures that enable, and facilitate, safe challenges … Wales TUC and Welsh Women’s Aid have developed a tool kit that will be launching here in March that will allow union reps to carry out that work.”
Lesley Griffiths said that Welsh Government has a long history of working with Welsh Women’s Aid and that the tool kit is welcomed.
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