On 25th November, the Wales Violence Prevention Unit joined leaders from the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV) sector for the launch of the VAWDASV Research Network.
The research network has been established by academics at the University of South Wales (USW), and will be 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 Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling University South Wales. The research network will be 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 research network will aim 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, undertake high quality research, foster collaboration and develop grant applications, and work towards the elimination of VAWDASV.
“Utilising research, data and expertise from organisations across Wales is crucial in understanding what works to prevent VAWDASV, so that we can work together to eliminate it. The VAWDASV Research Network provides the ideal forum for partners to join together on this mission and make real and lasting change for Wales.
The Wales Violence Prevention Unit is already working with partners to prevent VAWDASV through a whole-systems approach. For example, we are currently working with Welsh Government and partners to ensure that the refresh of the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy is influenced by evidence on ‘what works’ in prevention and includes voices of people who have experienced violence in the home, community or workplace.”Jon Drake, Director of the Wales Violence Prevention Unit
“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 Emily Underwood-Lee
“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.”Dr Sarah Wallace
The VAWDASV Research Network Wales officially launched on 25th of November at the University of South Wales (USW) Cardiff Campus, which also marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The event included keynote speeches from Jane Hutt MS, the Minister for Social Justice, as well as a panel discussion covering key topics in the area of VAWDASV. MA Drama students from USW will also perform a poetry recital as part of the launch.
The panel discussion, chaired by Dr Emily Underwood-Lee, included:
• 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 Rees, 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.
You can watch a recording of the event here