Y Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb a Chyfiawnder Cymdeithasol
Equality and Social Justice Committee18/09/2023
Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol
Committee Members in Attendance
|Altaf Hussain AS|
|Jane Dodds AS|
|Jenny Rathbone AS||Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor|
|Ken Skates AS|
|Sarah Murphy AS|
|Sioned Williams AS|
Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol
Others in Attendance
|Jane Hutt AS||Y Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol a'r Prif Chwip|
|The Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip|
|Paul Dear||Dirprwy Gyfarwyddwr, Cymunedau Cydlynus, Llywodraeth Cymru|
|Deputy Director, Cohesive Communities, Welsh Government|
Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol
Senedd Officials in Attendance
|Angharad Roche||Dirprwy Glerc|
|Rachael Davies||Ail Glerc|
|Sam Mason||Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.
The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.
Cyfarfu’r pwyllgor yn y Senedd a thrwy gynhadledd fideo.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 12:02.
The committee met in the Senedd and by video-conference.
The meeting began at 12:02.
Good morning. Welcome to the Equality and Social Justice Committee.
Our main business today is to continue with our inquiry on preventing gender-based violence. This is our tenth evidence session and our final evidence session with the Minister for Social Justice, who has responsibility, in her portfolio, for gender-based violence and the passing of the Act. We're also joined by Paul Dear, the deputy director for cohesive communities from the Welsh Government. Welcome to you both, and thank you very much indeed for being with us today.
Minister, I wanted to start off by asking you—. I appreciate that you have an overview of the implementation of the violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence strategy; how do you get other Ministers to prioritise this fantastically important piece of work when it's competing with all the other priorities that Ministers are having to grapple with?
Diolch yn fawr. Thank you very much, Chair, for the invitation to this important committee meeting for this inquiry, which I really do welcome. Your question is absolutely pivotal to tackling violence against women, misogyny and toxic masculinity, which, of course, our national strategy is clear on in its focus in terms of our objectives. I'm really pleased that you've also taken evidence from other Ministers, not just the Minister for Health and Social Services and the Deputy Minister for Social Services, but the education Minister.
In terms of our violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence legislation—and some of you were here, indeed, when we passed that in 2015—it always had to be a cross-Government piece of legislation that would be addressing policy issues that we were responsible for, not just in terms of health, social services and education, which are critical and I'm sure there'll be more questions on those, but also housing—critically important as well in terms of support—economy, in terms of tackling inequalities and the ways in which we're trying to address inequality anyway in terms of gender-based violence and the impact of the abuse of power and the lack of opportunities that so many women have faced. But I want to say that I think the national strategy now, with the fact we've got a blueprint and that we're also working with non-devolved, with the criminal justice sector, is crucially important as well. So, it's our Government working with police in particular, but all of the criminal justice system, which has got to address this, and the whole of society.
Can I just say that we've always said this is about ending violence against women and girls? It's a societal issue. And can I, actually, at this point, early on, give my recognition of the courage of our national adviser Johanna Robinson, who experienced appalling sexual harassment at the Swansea-Cardiff football game on Saturday and was brave enough to bring this to the fore? You may be not aware of it—
I wasn't, no.
But I just did want to mention it today, because she has been doing some interviews about this. But I think this is a reflection of how the whole of Government, working with criminal justice, and then with everyone else, football, sport—. We know that this is—. We're doing work with all our partners on this, but I think it does come back to, cross-Government, I can take the lead, but education of our children and young people is pivotal to all of this, because it is about prevention, which is the public health approach.
Okay. So, that—. Just to reiterate my initial question, which is, really, what—. I appreciate you're a very experienced and persuasive Minister. How do you ensure that, in particular, health and education are really driving this agenda, because clearly they are both pivotal departments in ensuring that we have a trauma-informed approach in everything that public services are doing?
Well, I think that's where the national strategy, the revised national strategy, with the blueprint approach and the strategic implementation board that I co-chair with Dafydd Llywelyn, is so important, because we now have these work streams. What's crucial is that we not only have the officials in the NHS, in education, all playing a significant role in that implementation board, but also we have the chief executive of the NHS, we have directors of social services. It's got to be out there, actually delivering that kind of change. I think this is where the national strategy, the blueprint approach and the implementation board are so important. I'm really delighted that we've got the chief executive of Aneurin Bevan playing a key role—because, if she's the chief executive of Aneurin Bevan, she's got to be responsible for ensuring that this is taken on board by all health boards—and then, of course, the Minister taking responsibility.
But I think a key change that happened, and it happened at the end of the last Senedd, was getting our new curriculum through, our relationships and sexuality education into our schools, into our curriculum. I know you took that evidence from the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language to show now how we've funded, and it will be funded across the Government spectrum, all of the ways in which we're trying to raise awareness. Our children and young people's work stream is crucially important. I know I'm covering a lot of ground here, Chair, sorry, but it's actually a cross-Government responsibility and then out there at delivery level for all those partners who are going to make the difference. I think this is the step change that we've made with this new blueprint approach.
Okay. This is, obviously, a very challenging agenda, but when we interviewed the Minister for health and the Deputy Minister for Social Services, which was two weeks ago, we still hadn't heard from either Swansea Bay or Cardiff and Vale health boards, or indeed the Welsh ambulance service. I think that's indicative that not every health board is making this a priority. There may be good reasons—perhaps the key person has not been well—but, if we can't hear from the Welsh ambulance service, who are one of the front-line organisations that do go into people's homes, then it's very difficult to see how we're ensuring that every single public servant is making every contact count. So, I wonder if you'd just respond to that, as to how you really ensure that, for example, health Ministers are maintaining a focus on this issue while also having other obviously really challenging situations around finances and waiting lists and other matters.
Well, this is a public committee and a public session where those unfortunate lack of responses from ambulance service and health boards will be in the public domain, and it will be also for the Minister for Health and Social Services and myself, and, indeed, Paul, working with his colleagues across Welsh Government, and with health as well, to take up.
I think this is where the work that we've been doing since the legislation and the original strategy on training, the 'ask and act' training, has been absolutely critical, because it's reached out to all of those on the front line. And we may see that people on the front line have taken part in that 'ask and act', but, unless there is that backing and priority, as you say, Chair, from the chief executives and the chairs of these public bodies, then, obviously, we have more to do, and we will feed this back. Of course, the recommendations in your report are critical to our strategy and how we implement it.
Okay. We'll come on to 'ask and act' a little bit later; one of our colleagues is going to ask about that. I suppose two more questions from me: one is, really, how does the Welsh Government embed the gender-based violence prevention and early intervention into all public servants in the context of the financial challenges that I know the Welsh Government faces?
This is a priority for Welsh Government and, therefore, obviously, we are in a challenging place. We are in a challenging place financially, but this is something where we have made it quite clear that, not just through legislation but through policy and resources, we are putting tackling violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence at the forefront of Government priorities. So, we have to protect, and, of course, that is why safeguarding and delivering on our national strategy is so important, and, of course, training is a crucial part of that, but also there's much that our partners are doing, and I think this is what's really important about the national strategy; our partners are also playing their part in terms of funding. Police and crime commissioners are playing their part; local authorities have the duty, as well as health boards. So, we have to continue to ensure—and as Minister, and with colleagues and the Welsh Government—that this is a priority. I think it's very important that we've got the initiatives that we have, that we are supporting, that are taking us through some of the difficult issues that we're facing, that we are still investing, not just in training. You'll have seen it in terms of raising awareness, the recent Sound initiative, which was engaging with boys and young men, who are then learning how to understand and challenge misogyny; the work that's being done through education is also crucially important.
But, at every front, I just want to say, on the public health approach, as you say, it is about prevention, it is about the work that organisations can do in terms of early intervention. And we do have, as well as all the other work streams, the tackling perpetration work stream, with many engaged and delivering on that, as I know you've already taken evidence on.
Okay. I just want to ask about the excellent role of the really important national advisers, Yasmin Khan and Johanna, and, specifically, Yasmin Khan in her written evidence raised concerns about schools not all being fully aware of the risks of female genital mutilation. I appreciate this is a niche subject that doesn't affect huge numbers of people, as far as we're aware. How do these national advisers get to the front line, if you like? Perhaps you could clarify how much time they get to talk to other Welsh Ministers apart from you, but how much influence can they have on improving practice at the front line where women and girls are in contact with services?
Well, the national advisers are national advisers to the Welsh Government, not just to me, obviously, and I meet with them regularly. But also they engage fully in all the work streams of the national strategy and the implementation board. They play a hugely important role in all of the partnership work, and you mentioned, for example, awareness and education of FGM, and I think this is about leadership and there is the honour-based abuse leadership group, which is jointly chaired by Welsh Government, BAWSO and the Crown Prosecution Service. And that's providing that strategic direction for measures to address FGM. And I think what's important for schools and for teaching and education is that we've recently published, and you probably became aware of this also with evidence, an awareness-raising toolkit for the public and professionals to ensure that more people are aware of the criminal nature of not just FGM, but hymenoplasty and virginity testing as well.
So, they are hugely influential, the national advisers, at every level of not just Government but delivery at the sharp end in our services, particularly I'd say in terms of education. But, obviously these reflections from the national advisers to you, giving evidence to you, are important for us to take back in terms of the ministerial responsibilities and how we can ensure that they are reaching all of those who need that. This has been, obviously, a long-term objective of the Welsh Government, as a result of the legislation, that those national advisers are key independent advisers, challenging but providing the evidence and the leadership.
Okay. Thank you very much, Minister. Can I now ask Sarah Murphy to come in?
Thank you very much. Good afternoon, Minister. I'm going to ask some questions now about evidence and evaluation. One of the commitments of the VAWDASV Act is to develop a set of national indicators to measure the progress around VAWDASV prevention. At the time of us now doing this inquiry, they have not been revised, which is making it difficult for us and others to hold the Welsh Government and its partners to account for preventing gender-based violence. So, can you tell us today when will the revised indicators be published, please?
Thank you very much, Sarah. Those national indicators are crucially important. You're aware, of course, that we have an extant set of national indicators, which came before the Senedd in 2019. So, we have those indicators, but we now need to reflect, as a result particularly of the public health approach, whether they need to be assessed for change, for development. And I think they do need to be revised in order to show what the blueprint measures actually mean. So, I've asked each of those work streams that are considering their particular issues to consider how they would evaluate their proposals against those national indicators as they are. And I would very much like to, then, share those with you.
We're in the process of doing that, but I was just reflecting back on those national indicators, and, of course, they're very straightforward, aren't they, in terms of the 2019 indicators. There are some that we would want to change in terms of the increase in reporting all forms of VAWDASV, increasing awareness, increasing awareness amongst all sections of society, children and young people. Actually, they need updating to reflect our growing knowledge and understanding, particularly relating to the public health trauma-informed perspective. So, I welcome that question, and it is work that's under way.
Thank you, Minister. It is important, as you said, because it is about establishing a pattern of reporting on the progress against the national indicators. I know that you said that you have work streams at the moment that are looking into this, but, again, it would be really helpful for this inquiry if you could give us any idea now of how the national indicators align with the public health approach. So, how do you measure denormalising violence or coercive control and harassment? What conversations have you had with those work streams about how you plan to measure those specific indicators related to gender-based violence prevention?
Well, I think what's been really helpful and has taken us much further on as a result of our blueprint and the implementation, the way we've developed the strategy, the revised national strategy, which of course covers a much wider domain in terms of workplace harassment and sexual harassment in the street and public domain, is that we're working now much more collaboratively and co-productively with those who are engaged in this, and not just those who are delivering services and who have to respond, but the criminal justice system as well, but also survivors. So, we are committed to reviewing the national indicators and to ensure that they reflect the current VAWDASV national strategy, and that they do take full account of emerging blueprint priorities. I think this is something that, again—. We look forward to your recommendations from this inquiry, but I will be feeding this back directly to the national implementation board and also getting some momentum from them about this, because you need to be able to see, or the wider world needs to be able to see—not just the committee, obviously—what this actually means and how we can progress that. I don't want to make any excuses here, but this is about how we can actually bring forward those revised national indicators, some of which will be very much the same as what we had in 2019, but that wider perspective with those wider partnerships that we have got now, and that perhaps we didn't have in 2019 but we have got now with the national board.
Thank you. Can I just ask, then, in the absence of us having any of these specific indicators, or even an estimation of when we will receive them, or any idea, really, of what they could possibly be, would it be possible, then, to have the work plans for each blueprint work stream published? Would you commit to doing this to ensure transparency and accountability in how this work is being implemented?
Well, this is something I would very much like to take back to the national board—that point about how much more can we be open and public and just account for what we're doing. We've given high-level reports on what we're doing, and that's good, but you need to be confident that the work that's going on at work-stream level, and people need to be confident, survivors need to be confident, the services need to be confident, that they are happening. So, I will take this back to the work streams.
We've got some brilliant work streams going on. I was just reflecting on the children and young people's work stream, which is co-chaired by Eleri Thomas—she's the Gwent deputy police and crime commissioner, but has huge experience in the field of working with children and young people—and Jo Williams, the programme director for Wales sexual assault services. I mean, I don't know, Chair, whether you have information about all the work streams and their chairs, because, if you haven't, I'd like to share it with you so that you can see the depth of what is going on there. If that would be helpful, I'll share those with you and work with them, even if it's just to give a flavour, some indication of what these work streams are achieving.
That would be very helpful. Before I bring in Jane Dodds, can I just ask you if you've got a date for when you're going to publish the revised indicators?
I can't give you a date today, I'm afraid, Chair, but I will hopefully report back to you, certainly in terms of responding, before we respond to your committee report.
Chair, could I just ask my last question and then—
—[Inaudible.] Thank you so much.
Well, except I think Jane was trying to follow up on something that's already been said. So, I'll come back to you, Sarah, and just call in Jane and then come back to you. Jane.
That was exactly my question. Good afternoon, Minister. We're very keen in this committee to have timelines, and it seems a little concerning that we don't have a timeline for the revision of the national indicators. So, just following on the Chair's point there, yes, we'd really appreciate timelines. Sorry to cut across you, Sarah; I know you're pushing on that as well. But one of the things that we'd like to focus in on is how we can really lead on this and how we can push this forward, so I'd be grateful for those timelines. Thank you.
Well, I'll certainly want to write to you about this, but I think Paul Dear might want to come in on the point.
Paul. One second, Paul. We just need to unmute you. Could Paul Dear be unmuted, please? Thank you. Go ahead.
Okay. Thank you, Chair, and thank you, Minister. Yes, I just wanted to acknowledge the importance of the question about how the national indicators are being updated and the timing for that. It's fair to say, linking to a previous question, that the national advisers have also been pressing us on this question and highlighting the importance of having robust indicators to underpin and support the work. We have discussed this through the blueprint process, and we're going to go on discussing it. We've picked up, as you said—. There is a set of indicators that was published in 2019. There was also work being done at that time to strengthen them, which unfortunately was derailed by the COVID pandemic, so a revised final version wasn't published at that time. We've thought very seriously about this. We recognise the importance of ensuring that the final set of indicators is aligned with the blueprint work and is aligned with the work streams, and so, rather than rushing to finalise the set of indicators—I know it won't seem like a rush when they were in 2019—given the work that's been done on the blueprint, we don't want the indicators to be published before we're sure that they are aligned with the priorities and activities that have been defined and decided by, initially, the work streams themselves, and then ultimately by the national partnership board that the Minister and PCC Llywelyn co-chair. So, we absolutely, and I certainly, hear today the urgency to get a set of indicators published and to give you a timeline for that, but I do just want to emphasise that commitment that we have to ensure that the final set of indicators is right, in the context of the blueprint that is now being developed, to ensure that the national indicators align up well with monitoring in relation to all of activities of each of the work streams, and then that the measures that we've set for those activities, in turn, are well aligned to the indicators. So, it's often difficult to make sure that you've got a correct set of measures that aligns with indicators, but that's what we're determined to do, and we will publish that full set of monitoring tools as quickly as we can.
Thank you very much. Sarah Murphy.
Thank you very much. Yes, I take on board your point—it shouldn't be rushed, we want to get this right, absolutely. But, again, in the absence of having any indication of anything that's going on, or any real transparency and accountability around those work streams currently, and in the absence of having a timeline as well, we have to have something where we can see that it's happening, and some sort of assessment, because this is happening right now to women and girls across Wales.
So, my last question, then, is: the British Psychological Society, and others, have called for the Government to publish impact assessments on existing Welsh Government-supported programmes that are designed to prevent GBV. So, will the Minister commit to this, and, if not, can you explain why that's not possible, please?
Thank you very much, Sarah. I want to assure you again that this is getting that transparency in terms of work stream development and enhancement of indicators as a priority, and it will be going straight back to the next national implementation board. I'd just like to clarify what the British Psychological Society called for again. They've called for impact assessments of—.
Of existing Welsh Government-supported programmes that are designed to prevent gender-based violence—so, the programmes that we currently have at the moment.
It makes absolute sense that we should. I need to look at this carefully. It hasn't been presented to me that we're not undertaking that kind of impact assessment, but I would certainly want to look at that call from the British Psychological Society. As you said in your very early questions, Sarah, it's about evaluating, it's about assessing the impact of what we're doing, are we making a change, impact assessments. That's the point, isn't it, to analyse, to see where and if we are making that change.
I think something that hasn't been mentioned probably in terms of evidence is that now we have our equality evidence unit set up in the Welsh Government, and I would want to engage them with this. Obviously, they're looking very specifically at race and disability, but I would also say that this is very much an intersectional issue as well, which I know your committee has been looking at very carefully. So, there's quite a lot there that I would want to take back and, perhaps, Chair, write to you specifically about where we are with those impact assessments.
Thank you very much, and thank you, Chair.
Thank you. Ken Skates.
Thank you, Chair, and thank you so much, Minister. I'm going to ask some questions about the implementation of the Act. To begin with, data is being shared with us about the number of professionals who have completed training, but attending a training session doesn’t necessarily guarantee front-line professionals can identify or, indeed, handle cases of GBV sensitively or effectively. So, how can the outcome of GBV training be more effectively monitored and evaluated?
That's a really important question. It goes back to the impact assessments, doesn't it, and actually what change is this making. The numbers can be impressive. I've mentioned 'ask and act' already, for example, earlier on in terms of the questions today. We have actually had an independent evaluation of 'ask and act'—it was published in January 2022—and there have been some changes in the policy as a result of that. There is a recognition that 'ask and act' has been effective, but now I think what's important, I would say, is that it's not just serving as a tick box for professionals on the front line and, really, is it changing behaviour. That's what we really have got to root out. This is actually being discussed in the programme board at this present time. We're investing a lot on this, so we have to make sure it's doing more than just ticking a box.
What's important, I think, is that we've recently said that we should stretch 'ask and act' out to other organisations, not just the statutory bodies within the remit of the Act. And, of course, Welsh Women's Aid has got the ongoing delivery of 'ask and act' training. So, I think expansion of 'ask and act' to the wider public domain needs to take place. But we know that unless there is a recognition of the cultural change, led from the top of organisations—. This is cultural change that's needed in terms of tackling misogyny and sexism in the workplace in terms of the delivery of public services. You can tick a box, you can undertake a training session, and it won't actually make that cultural change we need. It is a societal issue. I think this links back to education as well, and there have been some excellent examples of how the Spectrum work actually does change behaviour and understanding, as I'm sure the new curriculum rolling out will with children and young people and their teachers as well. But yes, we've got to ensure that what we are doing in terms of training on gender-based violence is effective and is making that difference.
Thank you. That's really helpful. I think, based on what you've outlined, the committee might want to consider whether we ask further questions of Women's Aid about the extent of their aspirations for extending the 'ask and act' duty and the time frame for expanding it as well. But we can consider that later. But just in terms of evaluating the 'ask and act' duty, when do you anticipate a full evaluation taking place?
There's the further contract that was approved in November to Welsh Women's Aid for ongoing delivery of 'ask and act' training. I mentioned the evaluation that was published last year. This is under discussion now, and again, perhaps if I can come back to you, Chair, in terms of ongoing or additional evaluation that we would expect to take place in terms of 'ask and act' as well.
Great, thank you. Just finally from me, on possible amendments to the existing legislation, are you considering amendments based on what advisers have been able to tell you, and again, what sort of time frame might you be working to in regard to amending the legislation?
We haven't considered amending legislation. We obviously have discussions on the issues raised by the national advisers. I think this goes back, perhaps, to the Chair's first question about can we prove that the Act is being delivered on a cross-Government basis. Because legislation is about a statutory duty and responsibility, so those statutory duties do exist for all Welsh Ministers, and we know also that legislation is the only way that you can join things up. It's about Government priorities and political priorities, and making sure that that is recognised from the whole of the Welsh Government. Obviously, it's very precious in terms of legislative time and opportunity and making the case for it, but I actually feel that what we've got to do—and this is your challenge to us—is deliver on the legislation that we've got. The duties are there, but we've got a new way of working with the blueprint, which involves, obviously, our criminal justice partners and chiefs at every level of the public sector, and also specialist services as well. We mustn't forget that we've got BAWSO, Welsh Women's Aid—so, specialist services. Again, I'm regularly meeting with them. They're testing, they're challenging. We've got our regional arrangements as well. We should be able to deliver on the legislation that we've got, but clearly one must keep this open in terms of evaluation of what we're doing now. But I think it is still probably early days in terms of proving that this blueprint approach—. I hope it will deliver the change, but I don't think at this stage it is about taking a whole new look at amendments to legislation. It's delivering on the duties.
Okay, thank you. Thanks, Chair.
Before I call Sioned Williams, could I just ask you all not to use the electronic hand if you want to come in on a point that's just been made? Apparently it's interfering with the broadcast. So, if you wish to speak, please just raise your hand. Thank you very much. Sioned Williams.
Diolch, Cadeirydd. Prynhawn da, Gweinidog. Mae cwpwl o gwestiynau gen i ynglŷn ag anghydraddoldebau croestoriadol a sut maen nhw'n cael eu hystyried wrth i'r Llywodraeth fynd ati i atal trais yn erbyn menywod. Roedd Lara Snowdon o Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru wedi dweud wrthym ni bod ffordd bell i fynd i sicrhau bod yr anghydraddoldebau yma a'r amrywiaeth mewn cymunedau yng Nghymru yn cael eu hystyried yn llawn wrth fynd ati i atal VAWDASV—dwi'n meddwl am bethau fel tlodi, anghydraddoldebau economaidd, cymdeithasol, hil, crefydd ac anabledd. Beth yw'ch ymateb chi i hynny?
Thank you, Chair. Good afternoon, Minister. A couple of questions from me about intersectional inequalities and how they're considered as the Government tries to prevent violence against women. Lara Snowdon from Public Health Wales told us that there is a long way to go to ensure that these inequalities and the diversity that we have in communities in Wales are fully considered in VAWDASV prevention—I'm thinking of things such as poverty, economic inequalities, social, race, religion and disability. What is your response to that?
I think that's a very, very important point that's been made, not just by yourself, in terms of this question, Sioned, but by Lara Snowdon in terms of recognising the dimension of this and the public health and trauma-informed perspective. I think we have a long way to go in terms of acknowledging the intersectional aspects of this, because we're very much concerned that this is gender-based violence and it's about the abuse of power and the inequalities that people face, which does, of course, affect their experience of VAWDASV and access to justice and appropriate help.
When we were starting up with developing the work streams, for example, we'd just announced the anti-racist Wales action plan, we were working on a disability rights taskforce and we had the LGBTQ+ action plan developing. So, that all had an influence on us looking at this from a wider perspective—not a different perspective; it's a broader perspective. We've made it clear in our national strategy that intersectionality is a key principle of the approach. It's high on the agenda, and it's actually, I think, on the agenda for our next meeting. And also, that means that we've included the older people's commissioner, because we've got children and young people, but we're looking at older people's experiences as well. The disability rights taskforce is doing ongoing work looking at this as well in terms of the impact of VAWDASV on disabled people. And we have to ensure that the intersectionality—. It is developing, and I have to say that this is probably now going to be reflected, I would say, in our indicators. Because that understanding wasn't there in 2019; there was an awareness of it, but it wasn't then being grasped as a policy issue in the way that we want to grasp it now.
Something I've always valued and been very proud of is the fact that we've supported BAWSO probably for 40 years now in Wales. It's such an important organisation to reach out to black, Asian and minority ethnic women, refugees and migrant women, and you've done a great inquiry into all of that work. But we've got to broaden that, as we are doing with that intersectional approach.
Diolch, Gweinidog. Mae'n dda clywed y bydd yna ymwybyddiaeth ac ystyriaeth o hyn, felly, yn y dangosyddion newydd, achos yn amlwg, fel rŷch chi'n gwybod, pan wnaethom ni ein hymchwiliad ni i brofiadau menywod sy'n fudwyr a oedd yn dioddef cam-drin domestig a thrais ar sail rhywedd, doedd hynny ddim wedi cael ei gynnwys a'i ystyried yn y strategaeth VAWDASV. Felly, rŷch chi'n dweud bydd hwn yn help. Yn ogystal, yn amlwg, â chyllido partneriaid arbenigol fel BAWSO, sut ydych chi'n mynd i sicrhau bod y cynlluniau cydraddoldeb niferus y gwnaethoch chi sôn amdanyn nhw—cydraddoldeb hiliol, cynllun gweithredu LHDTC+, yr hawliau anabledd sy'n dal i gael eu datblygu, wrth gwrs—yn mynd i'r afael â'r broblem yma? Ai'r dangosyddion a'ch gorolwg chi yw'r unig ffyrdd, neu a fydd yna gamau eraill?
Thank you, Minister. It's good to hear that there will be awareness and consideration of this in the new indicators, because clearly, as you know, when we undertook our inquiry into the experiences of migrant women who were suffering from domestic abuse and gender-based violence, that wasn't included and considered in the VAWDASV strategy. So, you say that this will help. As well as, clearly, funding specialist partners such as BAWSO, how are you going to ensure that the numerous equality schemes that you mentioned—race equality, the LGBTQ+ action plan, the disability rights that are still being developed—address this issue? Are the indicators and your oversight going to be the only way, or will there be other steps?
Bringing this to the forefront of responsibility for the national implementation board, and, indeed, for the work streams, I think, is an indication of our commitment to that. For example, I think, just in terms of looking at—. I've mentioned disabled survivors; we now are working much more closely with the disability rights taskforce on these issues. Disabled women, for example, who need to leave abusive relationships may need more multidisciplinary care packages. So, this means this is about, again, cross-Government, other ministerial engagement with those needs as well. Of course, also we know that this is about—. When we start looking at perpetration and perpetrators of abuse, often, controlling behaviour can have a huge impact on disabled women and disabled people.
So, I've just given you one example of where we're beginning to understand the intersectionality issues. So, this wouldn't just be for myself, this is very much for the Deputy Minister for Social Services and the Minister for Health and Social Services. We are fully engaged, not just through BAWSO, but the 'Anti-racist Wales Action Plan', but also the Deputy Minister implementing the LGBTQ+ action plan for Wales. We're looking at ways in which you can look at support services for survivors, and looking at the Hate Hurts Wales campaign, making all these connections as well, focusing on issues that people are facing. Our Wales hate support centre is funded, of course, by Welsh Government. So, this means a lot more connection that has been made as a result of where we are.
We are strengthening monitoring, as well, across the board and that will be discussed when we come to the discussions at the strategic board, and, in fact, the implementation board, as I've said, has got this on the agenda now.
Diolch. Un peth penodol, wrth gwrs—. Roeddwn i'n cyfeirio yn gynharach at ein hymchwiliad ni i anghenion menywod mudol. Un o'r argymhellion roedd gyda ni oedd y dylid sefydlu wal dân i gyfyngu ar rannu data rhwng asiantaethau ar y rhai sy'n ceisio cymorth ar gyfer trais ar sail rhywedd. Felly, ydych chi wedi bwrw ymlaen gydag argymhelliad y pwyllgor?
Thank you. One specific thing—. I referred previously to our inquiry into the needs of migrant women. One of the recommendations that we had was that a firewall should be established to restrict the sharing of data between agencies on those who seek support for GBV. So, have you, therefore, pressed ahead with the recommendation of the committee?
We are pressing ahead with that. I don't think I've got the latest on what we can actually deliver on it. I don't know if Paul has. It was a very important recommendation from the former committee that we had that protection. But, Paul, have you got the latest on this situation?
Yes, I can say we're taking that one on through the blueprint process, but particularly, of course, with police colleagues. These tread into non-devolved issues, and they're also quite technical issues, as committee members will be well aware. So, we don't actually have a solution in place at the moment or one that I can share with the committee now, but it certainly hasn't been forgotten, and we are going ahead to try and find a way to address that issue of the firewall.
We'll come back to you on that, Sioned and Chair. I'd like to give you a more detailed response.
Ac efallai, yn yr ymateb yna, os gallwch chi roi syniad i ni pryd bydd hynny'n debygol o fedru digwydd. Wrth gwrs, rwyf yn gwerthfawrogi dyw e ddim yn fater sydd wedi ei ddatganoli, ond efallai yn y trafodaethau rŷch chi'n eu cael drwy'r glasbrint a gyda chydweithwyr yn y gwasanaeth heddlu a'r Swyddfa Gartref o ran deall beth yw'r llinell amser ar gyfer hynny. Diolch. Diolch, Cadeirydd.
And perhaps, in that response, you could give us an idea of when that's likely to happen. Of course, I appreciate that it's not a devolved issue, but perhaps in the discussions that you have through the blueprint and with colleagues in the police service and the Home Office we could get to understand what the timeline is for that. Thank you. Thank you, Chair.
Diolch yn fawr iawn. Wrth i Sioned sôn am y Gweinidog dros wasanaethau cymdeithasol, roedden ni’n lwcus clywed wrthi hi yn y pwyllgor, ac un o’r cwestiynau y gwnes i ei ofyn, a dwi eisiau’i ofyn i chi hefyd, os mae hynny’n iawn, Gweinidog, oedd a oedd ganddi hi hyder yn y system gofal plant i wneud yn siŵr, pan fo yna faterion ynglŷn â’r maes yma, fod yna ddigon o bobl yn y gweithlu, a hefyd bod y systemau a’r prosesau yn eu lle. Ac felly, a gaf i ofyn i chi yr un cwestiwn, os gwelwch yn dda? Oes gennych chi hyder fod y system gofal plant yn gallu sicrhau bod plant a phobl ifanc yn cael eu gofalu amdanynt pan fo yna faterion fel hyn yn dod i’r gwasanaethau? Diolch.
Thank you. As Sioned mentioned there the Minister for social services, we were lucky and fortunate to hear from her in the committee, and one of the questions I asked, and I want to ask you as well, if that's okay, Minister, was whether she had confidence in the care system for children to make sure that, when there are issues relating to this area, there are enough people in the workforce, and that the systems and processes are in place. So, may I ask you the same question? Do you have confidence that the care system for children can ensure that children and young people can be cared for when issues such as these come before the services? Thank you.
Thanks very much for that question, Jane, and, of course, we're working very closely with the Deputy Minister for Social Services on these issues, and ensuring that we’re understanding the needs and the experiences of care-experienced young people. It’s why we have done everything we can to work with our partners in terms of the work streams that we’ve got now, but work ongoing in terms of the radical manifesto for care-experienced young people. So, I’m confident, but I will want to share this again in terms of a response to your report, your recommendations, and I will want to have an update with the Deputy Minister for Social Services on how she feels that this is delivering for care-experienced young people.
But also I think this goes back to some of the earlier questions about ‘ask and act’, about the training, about social services, the fact that we’ve got the director of social services and the work's logged into the work, leading in the work streams. Social services, and I would have to say also here—. I would say councillors and cabinet members in local government have got to take responsibility here as well. I hope local government—. I’m not sure of the interface you’ve had with local government, but I hope they are going to take your public health approach and the recommendations from this committee that it's important to them in terms of delivery, but particularly for children and young people. I know Eleri Thomas will be very interested in that question, as she was to the Deputy Minister and the Minister for Health and Social Services.
We have had extensive evidence from both Cardiff Council and the Welsh Local Government Association.
Sioned, have you completed your questions?
Good afternoon, Minister. My question is about multi-agency working: how is the Minister working to improve the criminal justice system’s response to gender-based violence, specifically the lack of trust in the system? And what discussions has the Minister had with UK Government Ministers and officials about improving the response to gender-based violence, and how to better work together to tackle it?
Diolch yn fawr, Altaf Hussain, and thank you for that important question. This is multi-agency working that we need to achieve through our legislation here in Wales, and obviously we've worked through the fact that we have this now, this implementation board, this blueprint approach, actually working with our non-devolved partners in policing, the Crown Prosecution Service. The ways in which we're working together have been crucially important to address, multi-agency, all the routes of where responsibility lies for justice for victims and survivors. But just to talk about how it reflects on the health service, local government, particularly social services, I'd also say that—and cross-Government—we do work with the Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales very closely. I meet regularly with her and, I would also say, the national advisers, Yasmin Khan, who has been national adviser for a second period of this, and Johanna Robinson, working also closely not just in Wales but across borders to learn from the evidence of how we can address this.
I think I would say that, in terms of, for example, the serious violence duty, we did work closely to ensure that we could embrace this in terms of Welsh Government, in terms of the serious violence duty. And in fact, I raised this and wrote to the Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire about this only late last year, about the ways in which we wanted to work together on this and influence regulations. So, what we've also said is that this is an area where we think there could be parallel provision in the regulations for the serious violence duty to ensure that this could also have an impact on local government in Wales. So, that's something I'd be very happy to, again, follow up on in terms of the latest position. I'm meeting with the Minister shortly at the policing in partnership board, and would be very happy to raise this again for an update, or to draw attention, I think, to your review, to your inquiry, to see where they feel that we are dovetailing in terms of our responsibilities.
We've obviously had a lot over the last year to say where we have been reflecting on gender-based violence and violence against women, particularly Sarah Everard, the horrific crimes against women that we've seen publicly and also revealed in the workplace. I've raised these issues with the Home Secretary and also we've discussed them at the policing in partnership board as well as in our strategy. In terms of domestic abuse, I think the serious violence duty is crucially important.
Thank you very much, Minister. Minister, why hasn’t the Welsh Government invested in post-separation support services? Who is responsible for raising awareness of the risks associated with post-separation abuse and ensuring that the support options and risk management is available regardless of relationship status?
Well, I think we do in terms of—. I think what's important is that we do have a tackling perpetration work stream, and there's a whole range of ways in which that's being delivered, particularly working closely with crime and justice partners and stakeholders. This is, really, a public health approach, of course, for early intervention, and primary intervention is a key priority. And I think that the work that we're doing and the funding that we do provide or that we do support in terms of training implementation is very important. This is also alongside others who are investing, the police and crime commissioners. And I know that you've taken evidence from them as well. So, I think it's definitely the case that we've ensured that we do play our part as far as tackling perpetration is concerned. And the ways in which we do that, I think it's interesting how, for example, we're co-funding CARA, Cautioning and Relationship Abuse, the early intervention programme and support of conditional cautioning framework. That's going live next year. We are co-funding; we're supporting new pathways, sexual violence awareness training for front-line staff, and also we do provide direct grant funding to regions, and they then decide how they wish to spend this, based on evidence. So, the Wales violence prevention unit is again important in terms of how they're addressing these issues. And it is important to see the impact of the work that's been done by our partners, particularly in the criminal justice system.
Thank you, Minister. Now, coming to the funding, what funding and support does the Welsh Government provide to organisations outside the public sector to prevent gender-based violence, for example, workplaces, the transport sector, the night-time economy, sports organisations, et cetera? And how is the Minister assessing and evaluating the impact and outcomes of interventions in these settings? And in addition, how does the Welsh Government work with organisations such as Karma Nirvana, who are working to tackle gender-based violence within ethnic minority communities?
This is something where we would also expect many of those organisations and bodies to be taking responsibility themselves. This cannot be something that is just—. You get Welsh Government funding in order to make those kinds of changes. Obviously, our revenue funding as you know, and very constrained though it may be, has been specifically, in terms of revenue funding, focused on meeting the needs of specialist services like BAWSO, like Welsh Women's Aid. I've already mentioned New Pathways, Cyfannol and a number of schemes across the whole of Wales. Also, interestingly, Safer Wales, StreetLife—. I can certainly, Chair, if you would like, write to you about all the organisations. But we're also working with the regional teams and those organisations we fund, to reach out in this way.
This is very much like the work that we're doing intersectionally with the 'Anti-racist Wales Action Plan'. It's actually getting these organisations to take responsibility and make these changes. We do have a workplace harassment work stream, which is co-chaired by Shavanah Taj of the Wales Trades Union Congress and also a leading officer, an operational police inspector, to look at ways in which there should be wider ways in which to address this. We put a lot of capital funding, also, into projects as well. But I think—.
I think you took some evidence from Plan International UK, and I did want to be able to just to refer to the great work that was done by Plan with Her Voice Wales, with young women, 13 to 17-year-olds, who did a survey of—I'm afraid to say—my constituency, #WEDONTFEELSAFE. They were asking for things like better closed-circuit television, street lights, action by the police. That was about attention and recognition. Transport: this again is something where Transport for Wales and our transport providers have a key role to play as employers, as well as caring for passengers, stations. When you actually engage with young people as Plan International UK did with these particular young people and the youth service, they will tell you where they think funding needs to be invested. And that's all not all back to the local authorities; that's for police, the British Transport Police, and many of those bodies who can take responsibility. I mean, a call from us, like we've done with the 'Anti-racist Wales Action Plan', I would say, for this major cultural change that we need, as a societal issue, to tackle gender-based violence has to be the way forward.
Thank you, Minister. My last question: what's the Minister's understanding of the provision of voluntary perpetrator programmes, that is, those that are not part of criminal proceedings, in particular the referral pathways and access to them, and how they are funded and monitored? And you say that gender-based violence can be prevented if sufficient resource and commitments are invested in tackling this cause. Do you think that the violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence budget is sufficient to prevent gender-based violence? Thank you, Minister.
This is something where there's never going to be, probably, enough money to invest in this, and it has to—. As I said, I suppose we focused our funding pressures, as they are, in the ministry for social justice, on the specialist services. We have a very important sustainable funding work stream, which is chaired by Yasmin Khan, the national adviser, where we are looking at the whole range of resource that is available, and that should be available, to tackle domestic violence and violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual harassment. So, this comes back to the very early question about cross-Government responsibility, doesn't it, as well, which is capital and revenue, but it's also societal, so it should be the private sector and definitely criminal justice.
I mean, one of the disheartening things—and we're discussing this today—is when we still see those kinds of incidents in the street and unfortunately in our schools. And the young people who did the survey in the Vale of Glamorgan, catcalling and street safety, they were looking at. These are young women. This is about people's behaviour, isn't it? So, we need that big cultural change and we need it in the football grounds, we need it in our schools, the playgrounds, in our streets, on our trains and buses. And that's where we could make that kind of change we want for Wales.
Jane Dodds, you wanted to ask a follow-up question.
Thank you, Minister. Thank you, Chair.
Thank you, Chair. I just wondered if I could just pick up the issue with regards to perpetrator programmes, if I may. We took evidence from a group who were really concerned about the disparities in perpetrator programmes available. And it may be that the Chair and others want to come in here, because I know there was an opportunity as well to visit and to meet with people running a perpetrator programme as well. I just wondered what your understanding is, if I may ask, of perpetrator programmes across Wales and whether they are standardised. I note that the last opportunity to update the perpetrator service standards in Wales was 2018, and that your objective 3 does talk about this issue. But, from what we've heard, it seems to be really inconsistent—different lengths of time, different funding opportunities, streams, different referral pathways, different expectations of the outcomes and reporting processes. So, I just wondered if you could say a little bit about your understanding, and, as I say, I know that the Chair and Sioned and Sarah also may want to reference their experiences as well. Diolch yn fawr iawn.
Diolch yn fawr. Well, obviously, I will be very much mindful of what comes forward from your review, your inquiry, in terms of the evidence about the different perpetration programmes. I've met with those organisations who are developing perpetration programmes, and we have a tackling perpetration work stream, and I think what would be helpful—going back to one of Sarah's points—is that we need to give you an update on the work that they're doing, what's coming out of the tackling perpetrators work stream to get this consistency and to get the evidence of actually what works. This where the blueprint—. It's a shared arrangement, a shared partnership. We've got to learn about what works, because they're investing in these programmes, and it's—. We've obviously got to make sure that we get this right, and particularly where there's that intervention that may be on a one-to-one basis or on a wider community basis. But can I, again, take that back with me and look at sharing with you as much as I can? In fact, I don't know what your timeline is, but I think we've got the opportunity to share with you, if I write to you, about some of the outcomes of the work streams, including the ones on tackling perpetration, becoming aware of what this evidence is saying.
Yes, thank you. If I may, Chair, just a have a very, very quick follow up, and it may be that others want to come in, if that's okay. It seems that there were significant inconsistencies in length, significant inconsistencies in who referred—for example, we heard of perpetrators who self-referred and self-funded themselves—and also feedback to families affected. And it seems to me, having had some experience in this, that the interface with organisations like the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service and the police means that there is a different range of programmes; we heard of once called 'Clear', we heard of one called 'Drive', the Domestic Violence Intervention Project, the Respect programmes. It just feels like there is a real jigsaw of programmes, which just felt really unclear in terms of their aims and what they were achieving. I hope I haven't simplified that, Chair, and those who actually attended the programme—I think it was in Cardiff or Swansea—apologies. Thank you. Diolch.
Diolch. Perhaps I could just say as well that I think this is a step change in the new strategy to have this tackling perpetration focus now. From the first phase of the legislation, it was very much implementation in terms of supporting specialist services, whereas now we're trying to look at root causes, and that's back to the public health primary prevention, early intervention. I think if you were asking these questions not just in Wales, but further afield, there would still be probably this disparity of learning and evidence at this stage in terms of tackling perpetration. We must get it right here in Wales, so I certainly do value that question, and we need to look at that. But if I can share with you what the tackling perpetration group is already undertaking, I will do so, Chair, as soon as possible.
We are aspiring, in collating the report, to map what perpetrator programmes there are. Now, bear in mind that we have religiously focused on prevention, and things like relationship and sexuality education in the new curriculum and early intervention, so we haven't been looking at, if you like, the more troubling end of this issue, where people have been prosecuted and really serious offences have occurred. But I think it would be useful if you were able to share a list of perpetrator programmes happening in Wales that you're aware of, and what information you are able to provide about effectiveness, if it exists.
I think one of the issues that we came across when we visited a programme in Cardiff, which was part of the suite of programmes operated under the Drive headline, was that nearly all the referrals were from children and families services, which is to be expected, but there were two issues that arose. One was that there were hardly any referrals from the police, which surprised us, and, two, the men we spoke to, most of them had had great difficulty finding a perpetrator programme. One of them had actually been going up to a place in Yorkshire because they couldn't find anything locally. So, I think this is clearly something that needs addressing. But, in your conversations with the police, it's really, you know, how effective they are at identifying what GPs find—that the reason they've called the police is given as x when in fact they want to talk about gender-based violence—and how effective front-line police are at seeing through a rather spurious application to the police when actually they may not, when the police arrive, feel safe to reveal what's been going on.
That's something that, on an operational level, I've had less discussion. Obviously, I've been aware, for example, of DRIVE particularly, which was funded by the police and crime commissioners, and how that was deemed to be effective, and then how it could be spread, looking much more strategically at how that could be then taken up by other PCCs, or equivalent kind of evidence-based initiatives, like DRIVE. But I think you've got into that granular detail that is really important in terms of people's experience and it's whether going to the police is going to be the route in, anyway. DRIVE is being funded by the police, but it's not so much operationally run by the police in that way. But I also think that New Pathways is important. I mean, whether you want to—. We need to do more and give you the information. Paul, is there anything you can say today about the work stream on tackling perpetration?
Yes, Minister, there is. Chair, the work stream has got a mapping exercise under way that hopefully will help us to answer the question the committee's asking and provide the information that you're looking for. That's working across the devolved and non-devolved services, both community and through the criminal justice system, and it will include sections on quality and efficacy alongside base information on risk and suitability. So, our ambition is to produce a map of services across Wales to be shared with professionals and the public seeking help and support for behaviour change.
I think it's fair to say we absolutely recognise the comments that have been made about the variety, let's say, of services, and the length of referral systems and so on. I recognise the committee's perceptions in those things, and hopefully our mapping exercise will help to at least give us the full picture and then help us in due course to improve the consistency and quality of services right across Wales.
Okay. Thank you, Mr Dear. We'll obviously communicate with you outside the meeting. Jane Dodds.
Yes, thank you very much. I wanted just to come back to the overarching situation with regard to violence against women and girls. You'll have heard it, as many of us have, described as a 'pandemic', and it's a huge field, and in your particular ministerial portfolio, on top of everything else, it's a massive field to look at. And I just wondered what your reflections were on being the Minister responsible for this really difficult issue, which has many prongs to it, and working in a multigovernmental way, but also multi-agency way. Given that I think it's right to say you don't have any operational responsibilities within Government for any of the services that are responsible for addressing violence against women and girls, like education and health and social services, I just wondered if you could give us a reflection of your role in this particular field.
It is the Minister for Social Justice, as for many other aspects, although I have a funding stream in order to support particularly those specialist organisations. It has to be and I want it to be a leadership role, in terms of ensuring that the Welsh Government sees that this is an absolute priority for Wales, for this time that we're in—2023. I have a history of having been involved for many decades in trying to address this issue. For many of us, it's the sort of issue that takes us into politics, because people say 'Well, you can't just be a volunteer, setting up a Women's Aid group; you've actually got to influence policy and government and legislation, and get resources', and that's what I've always sought to do whenever I have had a responsibility for this policy area. And I think there's been a step change: the fact that we've now got the legislation and that we have now got this blue print, and we've got this implementation board and we've got all of these key leaders involved in this. Your inquiry is going to be very important in terms of a call to them as well as to me and Government, as to what is it you are going to do to make this change, which is a societal change. In some ways, the tragedy is things haven't got better in terms of the experience of the abuse of power that leads to the tragic situations where women are killed by their partners and ex-partners.
Our survivors are leaders, I think. I think many of you know of Ruth Dodsworth and the leading role she is playing, and speaking up as she does not just in terms of our survivors group, but publicly with many opportunities. The courage shown by people who speak up and who call out—. But the 'Don't be a bystander'—. Abusers have to be held to account, criminal justice has got to take responsibility. We'd like to have more powers over criminal justice, as you know, but the will is there amongst the partners that we have at our board, which I co-chair and lead, so I can only say that it remains one of my primary commitments and priorities for being in this post.
Thank you, Minister. And, if I may, just a final question from me: what's your vision in 12 months' time, two years' time, five years' time with regard to this particular area? Are there things that you have that are really important to you to change over the next year, two years, five years? What are you landmarks, if you like, that would demonstrate that, as you've said, this particular issue is really changing for us here in Wales? Thank you.
That's a big question. We have had the ambition to end violence against women to make Wales the safest nation in Europe for women, and that is a call, that is an ambition that you can question in terms of 'Well, could you possibly deliver on this?'. We are part of the wider world and the cultural change that we seek for it is being pushed back day on day, particularly by corrosive social media and the exploitation of people in terms of these corrosive attitudes. So, I want to see Wales calling for an end to violence against women, not just the Minister for Social Justice, and all of our partners to take it as seriously, as I do actually believe that partners are coming on board to seriously take our 'Anti-racist Wales Action Plan' and try and make that kind of change.
I think the curriculum is crucially important, and if we can see that change in children and young people, and young men and boys, working particularly with us—. I was very encouraged by our Sound campaign that I launched in the summer, with young men, who were actually learning and listening and wanting change and to understand what misogyny means. And, on 'Don't be a bystander', we'll have a lot more to say about this in only a few weeks' time with the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and we'll have a particular focus on White Ribbon Day on 6 December, and the activism around that. I'm very proud that we've got a team in the Welsh Government civil service and an action plan amongst male staff in particular—the ambassadors—and that everyone is owning up for change as far as this is concerned. So, I hope that your public health inquiry focus will help me in the ambitions that we've got.
Just as a quick follow-up on that one, the bystander intervention that you're hoping to roll out, is that going to be possible given the current financial restrictions of the Government, and, if so, how much will it cost and when is it likely to happen?
Well, we are rolling out the bystander programme. I think I've got a few things to write to you about, Chair, so I'll give you the details in terms of the cost. I think the most important thing is engagement with 'Don't be a bystander'. So, perhaps we could give you more detail on that in terms of timeline, impact and intervention, in terms of resource. But, I'm protecting everything I can, in terms of my portfolio, in relation to this really important policy area.
Okay. Finally from me, I know that the Minister set up a survivor voice scrutiny and involvement panel, and we too have had two meetings with a group of survivors, who Welsh Women's Aid put us in contact with. Given that we've tried to focus on prevention and early intervention, we haven't been looking at some of the really important initiatives around ensuring that serious violence is contained and not repeated, and matters that relate to the courts. How do we all measure what progress we're making on early intervention? For example, the people who serve on your survivor voice scrutiny and involvement panel, what analysis is done of the early opportunities that might have been seized and weren't before those individuals obviously ended up suffering some really serious event that completely transformed their lives, unfortunately? How do we measure the success of intervening to prevent things happening? That's a challenge for anybody who is doing evaluation.
Absolutely, and I'm sure that the experts, specialists and particularly the public you've heard from, and Public Health Wales and the evidence that they've given—. This is what we need to identify in terms of the evidence, and then you can understand what early intervention was necessary and what could've come about. I mean, many years ago, there used to be a scheme called the Kafka project, where a woman would come forward and agencies would meet with her and she would tell her story and identify who could've intervened, at what stage, at what step. And it did have some good findings and it did help to identify where one intervention should take place. But again, in a sense, that was looking at things after the event. So, this is a multifaceted inquiry that you're looking at, and in terms of women's experiences, survivors' experiences, we're now getting that fully integrated into the national board, and the national advisers are supporting a diversity of survivors to give us that information. But in the end, criminal justice and the actions and the crime statistics will be really important for us to see what impact we're having together.
Maybe this all sounds very ambitious. Let it be ambitious in terms of finding out what is it that—? What aren't we doing that we should be doing? What should we be doing at an earlier stage in terms of intervention? There are decades of research on this, let's face it, as well, which we can pull on. But I think it is useful that you've linked it to the experiences and perspective of survivors, and also to the criminal justice system, and I certainly do, in terms of the young women who came to speak to us at the policing partnership board and who engage with us with Her Voice Matters. We've got to listen to our children and young people about what this means for them and what changes they're experiencing of a result of these interventions. Curriculum, society, transport, public health—all of it has got to come together.
Thank you. Obviously, we need to work together on being able to track accurate data that can be continued to be looked at, so we very much look forward to the indicators that you're revising, in order for us to be able to do that. We'll obviously send you a transcript of today's discussions, and I thank you very much indeed for your presence today and that of Mr Dear.
bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi) a (ix).
that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi) and (ix).
Cynigiwyd y cynnig.
I'd now like to ask that, under the Standing Order, we move the rest of the meeting into private session. I see no disagreement. Thank you.
Derbyniwyd y cynnig.
Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 13:32.
The public part of the meeting ended at 13:32.