As a Trainee Solicitor in the Family Department of Watkins & Gunn, I often speak to and deal with clients who have suffered, or are suffering from some form of domestic abuse or violence. It is harrowing to hear that both men and women suffer alone and do not know who to turn to for support.
A new and important Welsh Government initiative, Live Fear Free, aims to help those suffering with domestic abusive and sexual violence.
With the help and management of Welsh Women’s Aid, the helpline will be available to anyone to raise concerns about any form of violence against women. The caller will then be referred to a local service to provide further support that they need.
Reports show that calls to the helpline increased from 583 between April 2016 and March 2017 to 671 from March 2017 to March 2018.
Domestic abuse survivors will meet with ministers in Cardiff Bay today to share their stories. It is hoped that the voices of these survivors help shape and influence the service.
The Welsh Government is also launching a campaign to encourage people to come forward and report their concerns. The Don’t Be a Bystander campaign hopes to raise family and friends’ awareness of domestic abuse and violence in an attempt to urge them to raise their concerns with people who can help. Experts have suggested that although an astonishing 38,583 domestic abuse related incidents were reported to the Police last year, according to Home Office figures, there are likely to be many more incidents and people who suffer from domestic abuse and sexual violence that do not report the incidents.