Violence against women and girls – Government action
UK Government actions
- In July 2021, the UK Government published its new ‘Tackling violence against women and girls strategy’ for England and Wales.
- In July 2021, the UK Government committed to introducing a new duty on employers requiring them to take all reasonable steps to prevent their employees from experiencing sexual and other forms of harassment.
- In June 2021, the UK Government published its end-to-end review of the criminal justice response to rape and serious sexual offences, setting out a series of actions to improve the handling of these crimes across England and Wales.
- In April 2021, the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 was enacted. It created a statutory definition of domestic abuse and introduced the office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner.
- In April 2021, the UK Government launched a £1.5 million support for migrant victims pilot scheme to provide support for migrant victims of domestic abuse who have no recourse to public funds.
- In March 2021, the UK Government committed to consulting on the provision of community-based domestic abuse services ahead of the introduction of the proposed Victims’ Law. After the end-to-end rape review was published in June 2021, this commitment was extended to include community-based sexual abuse services.
- In March 2021, the UK Government published the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, proposing several provisions relevant to violence against women and girls, such as a legal power for police and other ‘authorised persons’ to extract digital evidence from someone’s electronic device with their agreement, including rape victims.
- In October 2020, the UK Government appointed an Independent Adviser on Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls.
Welsh Government actions
Violence against women and girls is a partly devolved matter. While aspects linked to the criminal justice system and policing are reserved to the UK Government, the Welsh Government has powers on violence against women and girls matters linked to housing, health and education.
- In September 2021, the Welsh Government published ‘Violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence: research with survivors’.
- In September 2021, the Public Health Wales Violence Prevention Unit published a review of evidence to identify effective practice in preventing violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV).
- In June 2021, the Welsh Government’s ‘Programme for government 2021 to 2026’ included a commitment to strengthen the VAWDASV strategy to include a focus on violence against women in the street, workplace and home.
- In November 2020, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales published updated guidance on tackling VAWDASV in higher education.
- In June 2020, the Welsh Government announced a £1.5 million fund to help VAWDASV service providers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to a £2.4 million boost in December 2019.
- In May 2019, the Welsh Government published its statutory guidance for the commissioning of VAWDASV services to support the commissioning of evidence-based and integrated interventions by VAWDASV services to meet the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 (the VAWDASV Act).
- In 2016, the Welsh Government published its national strategy on VAWDASV for 2016 to 2021 and later published a delivery framework for 2018 to 2021, setting out how it would meet commitments made in the strategy.
- The VAWDASV Act aims to improve the public sector’s response to the issue. The first set of national indicators was published in June 2019 to measure progress against the act.