On the 5th October 2015 the first Commencement Order for the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 came into force. One of the provisions included within the Order relates to Section 2 of the legislation which requires any person exercising relevant functions of the Act to have regards to the need to remove or minimise any factors which increase the risk of Violence against Women and Girls or exacerbate the impact of such violence.
The Commencement Order also brings into force Sections (3), (4) and (11) – the Duty on Welsh Ministers to prepare, publish, implement and review a National Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy and to publish National Indicators for the purpose of measuring progress towards the achievement of the purpose of the Act. There is a Duty on Welsh Ministers to consult with persons they consider appropriate before publishing both the National Strategy and National Indicators.
This first Commencement Order also brings into force the provision for Welsh Ministers to publish Annual Progress Reports which will outline progress made towards achieving the purpose of the Act included within Section 12.
Section 9 of the Act is also included within this Commencement Order – information about educational provisions to promote the purpose of the Act.
For me as the National Adviser this first Commencement Order brings into force provisions relating to the preparation and publishing of the Adviser’s Annual Plan and Annual Report. The National Adviser’s Annual Plan will set out how I propose to exercise the functions of the role with the Annual Report assessing the extent to which the objectives and priorities have been met during the reporting period. Both the Annual Plan and Annual Report will be published by Welsh Ministers.
My first Annual Plan must be submitted to Ministers next month and therefore I am asking you, stakeholders, partner organisations and survivors of Violence against Women, other forms of Gender Based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Wales what I should focus upon and prioritise in 2016/17. Send your thoughts and comments to Rhian.Bowen-Davies@wales.gsi.gov.uk
A further Commencement Order will bring into force the remaining provisions of the Act.
You can now follow the National Adviser for Violence against Women, other forms of Gender Based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence @NatAdv_VAW