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Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015

Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015

The Act is a landmark piece of legislation, breaking new ground as the first law of its kind in the UK. The Act received Royal Assent on 29 April 2015.

What will the Act change in practice?

The Act seeks an improved collective public sector response, stronger leadership and a more consistent focus on the way we tackle these issues in Wales and help victims, but more importantly it seeks to stop the abuse happening in the first place.

It will:

  • Ensure a shared, collective strategic vision, with the development of both local and national strategies.
  • Raise the issue of gender-based abuse, domestic abuse and sexual violence with our most senior leadership, and place a responsibility on them to drive forward changes which improve the safety of victims and their children. 
  • Provide for the appointment of a National Adviser to provide high profile leadership  and hold everyone to a higher standard of accountability.

The Act also has a focus on education; Local Authorities will be required to report how they are tackling these issues, including in the schools in their area -  for example through lessons on healthy relationships.

The Act also provides Welsh Ministers with powers to publish guidance documents to help relevant authorities meet the aims of the Act. These will include: the National Training Framework, Ask and Act, Commissioning, Perpetrators, Older People and Multi Agency Collaboration.

Who is covered by the Act?

The Act addresses domestic abuse and sexual violence perpetrated against all people in Wales, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation.

The Act also addresses violence perpetrated against a woman or man arising directly or indirectly from values, beliefs or customs relating to gender or sexual orientation.  

There is also no age limit on the Act so children who witness or experience such violence or abuse and older people are included.

For further information

Details of the Act can be found on the National Assembly for Wales website (External link). Relevant guidance can be found under Policies and guidance.

Letting people know

Do you think a friend or family member needs help?

Find out how to spot the signs and symptoms and support someone in need of help.

Find out more

Advice for professionals

Advice for professionals

Find information, advice and training to help you provide support to people suffering with domestic abuse, violence against women or sexual violence.

Find out more


About Live Fear Free

Live Fear Free is a Welsh Government website, providing information and advice for those suffering with violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

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