Research network launched to help eliminate Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

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Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice (image: Monk's Photography)

Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt MS, has officially launched a research network led by the University of South Wales (USW) which will work towards the elimination of Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV).

The VAWDASV Research Network Wales was launched at USW’s Cardiff Campus today (25 November), marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The network is led by Dr Sarah Wallace, Senior Research Fellow at the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care (WIHSC), and Dr Emily Underwood-Lee, Associate Professor of Performance Studies at the George EwartEvans Centre for Storytelling, University South Wales. It is supported by the Faculty of Creative Industries and PRIME Centre Wales, and is governed by a core group of academics, policy makers, and practitioners from the VAWDASV sector in Wales. It will also be supported by a dedicated member of staff from the Wales Violence Prevention Unit at Public Health Wales.

The aim is to develop an inclusive research community for Wales that provides a safe, open forum to bring together those who are working towards an end to VAWDASV to set the future research agenda, foster collaboration and develop grant applications, undertake high quality research, and work towards the elimination of VAWDASV.  

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Dr Emily Underwood-Lee said: “We aim to align all of our activities with the policy landscape of Wales, for example the landmark Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act (Wales) Act 2015, The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, and The Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

“By determining and understanding the research and practice priorities for Wales, we can share knowledge and expertise, ensuring that the network is accessible and inclusive, and develop future partnership working across the UK and internationally.”

Dr Sarah Wallace added: “The VAWDASV research network Wales is an exciting and valuable opportunity for inclusive partnership working, to develop and undertake research that works towards an end to VAWDASV.”

The launch event also included a panel discussion covering key topics in the area of VAWDASV. Chaired by Dr Emily Underwood-Lee, the panellists were:

  • Nancy Lidubwi, Violence Against Women Policy Officer, BAWSO
  • Lara Snowden, Violence Prevention Programme Lead, Public Health Wales
  • Debbie Woodroffe, Head of Training and Research, New Pathways
  • Tina Reece, Head of Services and Survivor Engagement, Welsh Women’s Aid

Connect with the VAWDASV Research Network via Twitter @VAWDASVWales for more information on its research activities.