- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Local Assembly Member Joyce Watson has praised Coedcae School, Llanelli on BBC TV’s The Wales Report.
Mrs Watson was discussing action to tackle violence against women. Events, including the annual Carmarthen White Ribbon vigil, encourage people to take the White Ribbon pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and children.
Joyce Watson AM told BBC presenter Huw Edwards about the need for schools to inspire positive attitudes and respect from a young age.
Mrs Watson had visited Coedcae School in 2014 to see their projects to promote respect and end bullying, and then invited them to the Senedd in Cardiff Bay to show Assembly Members their work.
Asked by Huw Edwards what roles schools have in promoting healthier attitudes and respect, Joyce Watson AM said:
“I I want to highlight Coedcae School in Llanelli where they really took this on board two years ago. The pupils themselves made a film about what domestic abuse would look like for a school child and they built everything about this. It was superb, and it is a model of best practice.
“I just think that if one school can demonstrate what could be done, then all schools can do the same.”
After watching The Wales Report, Tracey Senchal at Coedcae School said:
“We were delighted, both to see the profile this very important agenda is being given, and with the kind recognition by Joyce of the work of our school.”
Mid and West Wales AM Mrs Watson has supported and attended events and activities across Wales during the 16 days of activism which follow White Ribbon Day.
Each year she runs the Not in my Name campaign with the WI, recruiting male ambassadors from across Welsh life to ask men to sign the White Ribbon pledge, and sends out a pack to schools, encouraging them to campaign.
Joyce Watson AM said:
“It is vital that schools encourage positive attitudes to relationships from a young age, if things are to change.
“Violence against women affects all ages, from all social classes, urban and rural, and it affects all those touched by it, not just the victims.
“The figures are stark. In the first 10 months of this year 102 women were killed by men across the UK – that’s one woman every three days.
“The fact that more than two women a week are killed by a current or former partner shows just how big a problem domestic violence is across the UK.
“White Ribbon activity has grown year on year, with events in Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Aberystwyth, Llandudno, Usk and across Wales, alongside activity at the Senedd in Cardiff, to say no to violence against women and children.
“I look forward to the day when we don’t have to campaign, but while we see figures like these we must carry on – it’s important the message gets out far and wide.
“To end violence against women we need a culture change. We need young people to lead the way, and we want people of all ages to speak out about it and condemn it.”
The Mid and West Wales AM began White Ribbon activity in Wales 11 years ago with the first White Ribbon service at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff.
This year Mrs Watson organised the annual National Assembly for Wales Day of Action with the Women’s Institute to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Most major sporting bodies have signed up to the campaign, while all public bodies have workplace policies, and Wales is now leading the world in its actions.
Welsh Government last year published legislation and appointed a National Adviser for Violence against Women and other forms of Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence.
Anyone experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence, or has experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence, or are worried about a friend or relative who is experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence – should call the All Wales Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Helpline for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. UK Freephone: 0808 80 10 800.
For further information about Joyce Watson AM’s work, go to https://www.joycewatson.org.uk/.
To find out more about the White Ribbon campaign in the UK, go to http://www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk/