The Welsh government announced this week plans to introduce a Domestic Abuse [Wales] Bill as part of the new legislative agenda.
The Bill, the first of its kind in the UK, will introduce a statutory requirement for all local authorities to have a violence against women strategy in place on a local level.
The Bill will be introduced during the 2013/14 legislative year.
Addressing the National Assembly on Monday First Minister Carwyn Jones said:
“This Government wants to do more to tackle the social problems of domestic abuse. We will introduce in the next two years the Domestic Abuse (Wales) Bill, designed to place a duty on relevant public sector bodies to have a domestic abuse and ‘violence against women strategy’ in place. The Bill will not seek to address criminal justice issues. Rather the purpose of the provisions will be concerned with social welfare and the prevention, protection and support elements of a domestic abuse and violence against women strategy.”
A representative from the Wales Violence Against Women Action Group said:
“We are also absolutely delighted that the First Minister announced a Domestic Abuse Bill, and hope that it will seek to tackle all forms of VAW and ensure that all main VAW services are statutory at a local level.
“Carl Sargeant, the Minister for Local Government and Communities has clearly taken on board our representations that services to help women who suffer violence are a postcode lottery in Wales. He clearly agrees with us that these services must be protected, even when finances are difficult.
“His support is very welcome, and we look forward to working with him over the next year or two to help deliver better services and a new bill to better protect women in Wales.”