“The recent report on domestic abuse by the Wales Audit Office (WAO) highlights some areas of grave concern," said Mark Isherwood.
“It is quite shocking to read in the report that: ‘Victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence let down by fragmented system, services are inconsistent, complex and short term, and victims and survivors find it difficult to get the help they need.’
“All Welsh Conservatives, and all my Assembly colleagues from other parties, had high expectations for the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act (2015), which was heralded as a piece of ground-breaking legislation.
“However, it seems that despite some aspects of it working well, there has not been the desired progress on delivering the key aspects of the Act. Again quoting the report, its effect has been described as ‘poor’. We can, and we must, do more. We owe it to the victims and survivors.
“Another recent report, this one from the Office of National Statistics, indicates some rises in domestic violence that on the face of it are truly shocking.
“Across all four Welsh forces, domestic abuse reports rose from 18,960 in 2015-16 to 41,532 in 2018-19, a rise of nearly 220 percent. However, as with all figures, it does not necessarily mean that there have been 22,572 more incidents.
“The only positive I can draw from these figures is that it the rises may – and I must stress may – be to do with better recording of incidents.
“These victims and survivors – and if they have them, then their children too – are among the most vulnerable in our communities and our country, and we must ensure that they are not being failed by a system that, according to the WAO, is both complex and inconsistent.”
Notes to editors:
Mark Isherwood’s portfolio as Shadow Minister for Communities includes being spokesperson on anti-slavery, domestic abuse, gender-based violence and sexual violence issues.
Published November 20, 2019: https://www.audit.wales/news/victims-and-survivors-domestic-abuse-and-sexual-violence-let-down-fragmented-system