Kirsty calls for action to end violence against women

November 26, 2009 5:20 PM

In recognition of International day for the elimination of violence against women, Kirsty Williams AM for Brecon and Radnorshire has called upon the Welsh Government to end the postcode lottery of support services for women facing abuse and violence. 3 million women across the UK experience rape, domestic violence, forced marriage, stalking, sexual exploitation and trafficking, or another form of violence each year, most commonly perpetrated by known men. Almost half of women in England and Wales experience at least one incident of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking and thousands of women being trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation each year. As well as damage to the individual women affected, it is estimated that violence against women costs the economy in England & Wales £6billion a year. In addition, the human & emotional cost is estimated at £17billion. The cost of sexual offences in a year is estimated to be £8.46 billion pounds, with each rape costing an estimated £76,000 pounds. Kirsty Williams said: " This year alone 11 women have met violent deaths in Wales, 9 of which were allegedly at the hands of men they knew. Violence against women is still a very real and serious issue and we must see greater action from the Government to both raise awareness and provide support services. " We currently have an unacceptable postcode lottery of services across Wales, with rural areas such as Powys being particularly penalised. The Minister must address the added difficulties faced by women in rural areas in accessing these services due to access and geographic problems. "The Wales Violence against women action group coalition has strongly criticised the Welsh Government's current draft strategy to tackle violence against women. I am supporting their calls for a more decisive and cross-cutting approach. We instead need a strategy which looks at all forms of violence and truly gets to the heart of tackling the postcode lottery of services for women across Wales." Notes: International day for the elimination of violence against women took place on 25th November 2009.More information about The Wales Violence against women action group coalition can be found at: http://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/

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