- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Domestic abuse – Gibraltar looks to Wales
A member of the Gibraltar government was in Cardiff recently (18 November) to learn how Wales is challenging domestic abuse.
The fact-finding visit was organised by Assembly Member Joyce Watson. The Labour Mid and West AM is Chair of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in Wales. She invited The Hon Samantha Sacramento, Gibraltar’s equality and social services minister, to speak to Welsh Government officials about new laws aimed at tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence. The minister also met Gill Owens, operations manager of Welsh Women’s Aid, before visiting a local women’s refuge.
Joyce Watson AM said:
“The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association brings together politicians from 175 legislatures in 54 countries. The purpose of the organisation is to share ideas and promote democracy and human rights across the Commonwealth. I asked the minister to come and see from herself what Wales is doing to combat violence and support victims of abuse – I am delighted she accepted my invitation.”
Mrs Watson is a leading anti-violence activist. Through her support for the White Ribbon campaign, Joyce works with the National Federation of Women’s Institutes in Wales to recruit male ambassadors to speak out against domestic abuse.
The White Ribbon campaign encourages people to make a public pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. It is aimed at men, but women can show their support by wearing a white ribbon for the duration of 16 days of activism, from 25 November to 10 December.
As well as drawing support from an array of men’s organisations including the Scarlets rugby team, Joyce has promoted the campaign in mid and west Wales’ schools. Over the past few weeks, pupils from Coedcae and Bryngwyn in Llanelli and Welshpool High School have promoted the respect agenda.
Mrs Watson added:
“Engaging men and boys is crucial in challenging the inequalities and attitudes that contribute to violence against women.
“I am delighted that this important campaign is building such awareness right across the country.”