- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Welsh Rugby Union send message of support to Joyce for White Ribbon Day
Local Assembly Member Joyce Watson has raised £170 to help women and children fleeing domestic violence this Christmas.
The Mid and West Wales AM sold white ribbons to AMs and Welsh Assembly staff for White Ribbon Day, which encourages men to take responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women. Politicians also donated gifts including cuddly toys and board games.
The money will go to Cardiff Women’s Aid to buy Christmas presents for children. Today (Thursday, 8 December) Cardiff Women’s Aid Chief Executive, Morgan Fackrell met AMs in the Senedd to thank them for their contribution and support.
Receiving the donation from Mrs Watson and Cardiff South and Penarth AM Vaughan Gething, Morgan Fackrell said: “We are grateful for this donation, which will help provide a good Christmas for women and children fleeing violence.
“We have worked with Joyce for some years on the White Ribbon campaign, and we recognise the continued commitment of the Welsh Government and members of all parties to tackling gender based violence. The launch of the Cross Party Violence Against Women and Children Group will help us work together to tackle this issue.”
She added: “If people would like to donate presents, please send new unwrapped presents to Cardiff Women’s Aid, 16 Moira Terrace, Cardiff, CF240EJ.”
Joyce Watson, who is the Chair of the National Assembly Human Trafficking Cross Party Group, said: “Last year we raised £110 so I am delighted that we have managed to surpass that figure this year.
“Sadly, Christmas can be a violent time in too many homes. Domestic abuse accounts for a quarter of recorded crime in England and Wales, and in many instances children are witnesses to that abuse. It’s also a sad fact that where domestic violence is present the risk of child abuse and neglect is 40% higher.
The Labour AM added: “Domestic abuse is an issue for all of Wales, rural as well as urban. If you feel isolated or endangered in your own home and you live in a rural community, help can feel a long way away.
“It’s not just physical violence which has a devastating effect. I know of one woman who was kept a prisoner in her own home, without any money, who had to ask her children for their pocket money to pay for her personal hygiene products.”
In the last ten years there have been 12 homicides in the Dyfed Powys Police area – seven of those involved domestic abuse.
Police recorded 48,738 incidents across Wales last year, including 11,759 arrests and five homicides, and Dyfed Powys Police recorded 1,943 domestic incidents.
There were 14,528 calls to the Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline, and 1,975 people entered Welsh refuges last year.
Mrs Watson has raised awareness and fundraised for the White Ribbon campaign for several years. Two years ago she recruited sporting ambassadors to raise awareness of the issue, and the Welsh Rugby Union continued this work. Last year she raised over £1,000 selling white ribbons across Brecon and Radnorshire, other parts of Powys and in the Welsh Assembly.
The Welsh Rugby Union sent a message of support to Joyce for White Ribbon Day, saying:
“The WRU is pleased to support the White Ribbon campaign to end violence against women in all its forms. The Union is proud to have been actively involved in promoting White Ribbon activity and wishes the organisers every success in achieving their aims and objectives for this extremely important cause.”
Joyce also set up and chairs the Assembly All Party group on Trafficking. She published a report on trafficking in Wales Bordering on Concern, which called for an anti-trafficking co-ordinator for Wales to be appointed. Bob Tooby was appointed to this role in March.