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I am pleased to be able to give my backing to the International Day to End Violence Against Women, Saturday November 25th.
Research shows that in Wales the number of women who suffer from domestic abuse is higher than the UK average and that up to a third of all women in Wales are likely to have suffered some form of violence. A recent ICM survey also revealed that 40 per cent of young people in Wales know girls whose boyfriends have abused them physically.
Last year, the Welsh Assembly Government set aside £5.8 million for 2006-9 for its Tackling Domestic Abuse Strategy. The money is supporting eight domestic abuse projects across Wales, a network of domestic abuse co-ordinators and funding an all year round 24 hour domestic abuse helpline.
We cannot be complacent about this sort of violence which goes on even in Bridgend. We should all be worried about the survey of young people which shows us that many of our young people have views which condone forms of physical abuse.
I am pleased that the Welsh Assembly is taking this issue seriously by funding the domestic abuse helpline – which helps more and more women each year. The helpline is run by Welsh Women’s Aid and by calling 0808 8010 800, support is on offer for all women, men and children who need it.
I will personally be visiting Bridgend Women’s Aid next week and I would like to thank all the local partnership organisations for the important work they do in supporting women in Bridgend who suffer from domestic abuse.
This International Day to End Violence Against Women is an important day to remind us that even in Wales who have a lot to do to counter attitudes which condone violence against women, which is why I am pleased the Assembly is supporting all these important projects.