Deputy Commissioner praises VAWDASV conference

12th March 2021

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Eleri Thomas, has praised the ongoing efforts to tackle violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV) in Gwent.


She was speaking after the regional VAWDASV team’s Reaching Out online conference on Thursday, which provided a platform for professionals, practitioners and third sector partners to hear from a range of organisations who are working tirelessly to help, advocate for and support victims and perpetrators of VAWDASV.


The event was opened by Jane Hutt, Deputy Minster and Chief Whip MS, and highlighted different types of abuse and how people can signpost victims and perpetrators to appropriate organisations.


The Deputy Commissioner said: “Events such as this are vital to bring to life how domestic violence and sexual abuse impacts on victims and their families. I was moved by the wealth of honesty and courage that emerged from all of the speakers at the event. Listening to the powerful recollections of Luke Hart, of CoCo Awareness, and Frank Mullane, of Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse, talk about how life changing events can help provide strength and support for others was very thought provoking.


“It was empowering to hear how the personal journey of Jasvinder Sanghera led to the establishment of Karma Nirvana, a national charity and support helpline to support anyone affected by honour-based violence, abuse and forced marriage. This issue of honour based violence was raised at the recent Police and Crime Panel and is an issue that needs to be treated sensitively with communities in Gwent. We need to continue to work with community leaders to educate our future generations and elders to prevent any type of honour based abuse from taking place.  


“The conference highlighted the many types of abuse, including female genital mutilation, coercive control, sexual violence and domestic homicide. It also provided an insight into the work of Phoenix Domestic Abuse Service that works not only with victims, but with perpetrators to help encourage positive behaviour and change attitudes. I am pleased that is just one of the VAWDASV services that the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner funds.


“Abuse in any form is not acceptable. I hope that ongoing education and awareness raising with all people of all ages will help empower victims and those around them to seek the help and support they need.”


Live Fear Free offers free advice and support for all forms of abuse 24 hours a day, seven days a week.