Re-visiting the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 A National Assembly for wales QUICK-READ

It’s been over two years since the Welsh Government first introduced a draft law to reduce gender-based violence in Wales.

Over the coming months, the National Assembly for Wales’s Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee will be looking to hear your views on the progress of the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 through post-legislative scrutiny.

What did the Act change?

The Act introduced a number of obligations and actions to help reduce gender-based violence in Wales. The main parts of the Act are:

  • the duty to prepare and report on national strategies;
  • the duty to prepare and report on local strategies;
  • a duty on local authorities to report on how they are addressing gender-based violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence within education, including through sex education;
  • the power for Ministers to issue statutory guidance and the duty to follow such guidance; and
  • appointment of a National Adviser.

What does the Committee want to find out?

To carry out its work, the Committee want to hear your views on the following issues:

  • to what extent the approach to tackling violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence is improving as a result of the obligations in the Act?
  • whether survivors of abuse are beginning to experience better responses from public authorities as a result of the Act, particularly those needing specialist services?
  • what are the most effective methods of capturing the views and experiences of survivors? Are arrangements in place to capture these experiences, and to what extent is this information being used to help inform the implementation of the Act?
  • whether the National Adviser has sufficient power and independence from the Welsh Government to ensure implementation of the Act?; and
  • to what extent the good practice guide to healthy relationships is successfully influencing the development of a whole school approach to challenging violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence?

Photo credit: Amy Dianna, "White Ribbon Day", Flickr

How can I have my say?

The Committee will be looking to hear your views over the summer, and the consultation will close on 16 September 2016.

You can share your ideas with the Committee in writing via e-mail SeneddCommunities@assembly.wales or by post: Equalities, Local Government and Communities Committee, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA.

You can also post your ideas on the Assembly's Facebook page and on Twitter by using our handle @SeneddELGC.

Credit: Sarah, "Walk a Mile in her shoes", Flickr

What is post-legislative scrutiny?

Lots of people think that once a proposed law is passed, there is no need to look at it again – it simply becomes law. However, post-legislative scrutiny or the ability to re-examine laws is an important mechanism which allows the Assembly and the Committee:

  • to see whether the Act is working as intended;
  • to identify any issues around implementation (or fulfilling the objectives of the Act) and how effective it is; and
  • to pin point best practice so that lessons can be learnt from what it (and what isn’t) working well.

What is the role of the Assembly? How is it different to the Welsh Government?

The Welsh Government's job is to propose laws, make policies, and spend money on things like hospitals, schools and roads in Wales. The National Assembly for Wales's job is to make sure that the Welsh Government's decisions about these things are in the best interests of Wales and its people.

The Committee helps the Assembly in this process by making sure that decisions about equality, local government and Welsh communities are also in the best interests of Wales and its people.

The Committee are a group of eight Assembly Members from across Wales who represent the political makeup of the Assembly.

The previous Community, Equality and Local Government Committee of the Fourth Assembly (2011 – 2016) was responsible for the initial scrutiny of the draft law. After a difficult passage through the Assembly, the Act was finally passed in March 2015.

Keep in touch

To keep up to date on the progress of the Committee’s work on the Act and other consultations, visit the webpage or follow @SeneddELGC on Twitter.

This will be the first opportunity the Committee has to look back over the Act and to examine how it has been implemented, and what changes have taken place.

Tell us your views and help us make sure that gender-based violence is being tackled in Wales.

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