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Advice for those working with perpetrators of violence

Welsh government issues new guidance for staff

Jo Carlowe

Monday, 18 November 2019

The Welsh government has issued new guidance on working with perpetrators of violence, domestic abuse and sexual assault.

The ‘Good Practice Guidance’ is aimed at healthcare staff and other public service workers who come into contact with perpetrators of violence in their everyday work.

Included in the guide is advice on how to recognise, report and support those who are abusive or are in an abusive relationship in a practical and safe way.

The Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act, called VAWDASV for short, launched in 2015 and was shortly followed by a national strategy.

The strategy set out the Welsh government’s commitments to ensuring victims are prioritised whilst recognising perpetrators also need effective support to address abusive behaviours, improving outcomes for everyone affected.

Last year standards for consistent specialist services for perpetrators were published and this latest guidance goes further, recognising the vast roles within Wales’ wider public services which involve regular interactions with perpetrators.

Staff can also access specific training for non-specialists in VAWDASV. ‘Ask and Act’ supports public-facing staff to recognise the signs of domestic abuse and learn how to approach potential victims with their concerns. Some 4,343 people have been trained across Wales to date.

Commenting, deputy minister and chief whip Jane Hutt said: “It’s saddening that our public service staff encounter victims and perpetrators of violence and domestic abuse every day, whether that be through the public, their colleagues or within their family and friendship groups. But it is imperative we give them the right tools and knowledge for when they might need it.

“By using the practical and accessible information within this guidance, public services workers can signpost perpetrators to the appropriate specialist services and help Wales to tackle all forms of domestic abuse and violence.”

She added: “Publishing this good practice guidance reiterates the Welsh government’s commitment to ensuring all perpetrators are able to get the help they need and their victims, survivors, children and families are wholly protected - improving the lives of Wales’ people.”

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