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Launch of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council's Community Domestic Abuse Project

domestic abuse project logo

On February 1, 2024, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council held an event to commemorate the launch of their new Shared Prosperity Community Domestic Abuse Project and Vehicle Viewing.

The event was joined by Cllr. Andrew Morgan OBE, Leader of the Council; Cllr. Maureen Webber, Deputy Leader of the Council; Cllr. Bob Harris, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities; Mr. Danny Gabbidon, Football Association of Wales Ambassador; Deb Critchley, Representative from Welsh Women’s Aid; colleagues from RCT Domestic Abuse Services as well as a number of local and regional partners and agencies.

The Community Domestic Abuse Project aims to raise awareness about domestic abuse and Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse, and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV) that happens within local communities to reduce risk of harm. This will ensure that those who suffer from domestic abuse are aware of the support that is available to them and how to access help. Furthermore, the project aims to support the ‘prevent and improve’ agenda to ensure that our community as well as future generations understand that domestic abuse and VAWDASV is never acceptable.

Cllr. Bob Harris, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said: “The Council’s new Community Domestic Abuse Project is an excellent initiative that aims to engage with communities at a grass roots level to encourage more awareness about domestic abuse, advocate for victims, and signposts individuals to the specialist support that they need whilst working to minimise the risks of their situation.

“I was delighted to open the launch of this project on Thursday, February 1, whereby officers from the Council introduced the Council’s new bespoke service vehicle that will support the work of the service and provide a safe space to disseminate information, advice, and support to the community.

“It is so important to work collaboratively with partner organisations to raise awareness about domestic abuse and VAWDASV, as well as ensuring that victims are able to access the help and support that they need.”

As part of the event, the project team based the new domestic abuse vehicle at Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd. This is the first of many events as the vehicle will be placed in various locations across the Country Borough throughout the coming months, with the next vehicle location being Talbot Green Retail Park on Wednesday, 14 February. The aim of this vehicle tour is to raise the profile of domestic abuse amongst residents and promote the message that domestic abuse is never acceptable.

Cllr. Maureen Webber, Deputy Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “At the launch event on February 1, I read the poem I Got Flowers Today by Paulette Kelly, who is a domestic abuse survivor. This powerful poem, which I first read at one of our earlier Council White Ribbon Day events, highlights the challenges that victims face when in these abusive relationships.

“The Council’s Community Domestic Abuse Project aims to alleviate some of these challenges by providing the community with information on how to recognise the signs of domestic abuse and VAWDASV, raising the profile across the community, and empowering individuals to have a voice, come forward, and receive the help and support that they need.

“The statistics surrounding domestic abuse and violence are absolutely frightening. According to the World Health Organisation 1 in 3 women, or roughly 736 million, are subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, or sexual violence from a non-partner. Even more striking, 1 in 4 young women aged 15-24 years will have already experienced violence by an intimate partner by the time they reach their mid-twenties.

“As an organisation, but also as a community, we must look to reduce and completely eradicate violence and abuse by reducing the risk to victims and intervening at an early stage. This is exactly what the project aims to achieve.”

The presence of both Welsh Women’s Aid and the Football Association of Wales also supported the strong collaborative approach that the project has taken forward, which ensures that key information about domestic abuse can reach people at a wider level across Welsh communities.

Mr. Danny Gabbidon, Football Association of Wales Ambassador, said: “I felt honoured to be asked to speak at RCT Council’s Community Domestic Abuse Project launch on February 1.

“It is so important that we provide individuals with a safe space to talk about their experiences, as no one knows better how to support victims of domestic abuse and VAWDASV than those who have experienced it themselves.

“It is important that we include survivors in these conversations to help organisations drive change. This project is a fantastic step in the right direction to start changing the stigma that surrounds domestic abuse and VAWDASV and to create a future where this is no longer a taboo subject.”

This exciting new initiative will provide a platform to inform future service delivery, support, and interventions for those at risk or experiencing abuse. Additionally, it will enhance the Council’s existing Domestic Abuse services to hard-to-reach groups like male victims, elderly victims, Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minorities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities.

If you are interested in working with our project, or have any enquiries, please feel free to get in touch with the service on 01443 400 791.

Posted on 13/02/2024