Charity formerly known as Atal y Fro rebrands to Vale Domestic Abuse Services to further help survivors from the Vale of Glamorgan

A domestic abuse charity championing survivors and their needs in the Vale of Glamorgan is unveiling its new name and a new five-year strategy, as part of its ongoing commitment to break the cycle of domestic violence and abuse in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The organisation formerly known as Atal y Fro will now be called Vale Domestic Abuse Services (DAS), after Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip in Wales, and other special guests gathered for a launch event near the charity’s base in Barry.

This new strategy coincides with the charity’s 30th anniversary and aligns itself with the Welsh Government National Strategy on Violence Against Women, The South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner’s Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, and the Cardiff and Vale Regional Strategy too.

Vale Domestic Abuse Services is looking to the future with the aim of inspiring people to speak up, responding to those in crisis more effectively, continuing to help rebuild the lives of families affected by domestic abuse and reinforcing the message that life can be different with the right support in place.

Vicky Friis, Chief Executive Officer at Vale DAS, explained: “Violence against women, domestic abuse, and sexual violence (VAWDASV) has changed dramatically over the last decade – there’s been an increase in awareness, legislation, and commitment to making our communities safer for survivors, but there is still much to be done.

“Due to the impact of social media on public discourse, high-profile cases, stories of misogyny, racism and homophobia, public confidence in our institutions is at its lowest point. Young people tell us they feel unsafe on the streets, in schools and online. Housing shortages, financial stresses, societal pressures, and the rising impact of social media discourse have also all made life increasingly challenging for survivors of domestic abuse.”

“We believe that it takes a community to end violence against women and girls, domestic abuse and sexual violence, In response, this new strategy will help us keep the survivor voice at the forefront of everything we do, advocating and highlighting issues where they occur, while our new identity as Vale Domestic Abuse Services helps us keep our message clear –we believe that life can be different for anyone and everyone experiencing domestic abuse in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, and the rest of the UK, today.”

Vicky added. “Becoming Vale Domestic Abuse Services will bring clarity to what we are here to do. It will help us to reach more survivors, raise awareness of the issues and continue to support survivors to be safe and gain the justice they deserve.”

Jane Hutt, who is also MS for the Vale of Glamorgan became the first National Co-ordinator of Welsh Women’s Aid in 1978 and was a founder of South Glamorgan Women’s Workshop.

Ms Hutt and other supporters gathered to celebrate the charity’s new outlook at the Memo Arts Centre heard that since its inception, Vale Domestic Abuse Services has gone on to support tens of thousands of women and children affected by domestic abuse to live their lives safely through the services it provides.

Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip Jane Hutt said: “We will not stop working towards the end of all forms of violence against women and girls.

“We must empower people to seek help and support when they need it, which is why I am so proud of our network of passionate and experienced specialist services in Wales, providing life-saving information, help and support. Violence and abuse are inexcusable, and the work of organisations like Vale Domestic Abuse Services is truly lifesaving.”

Those attending also heard first-hand accounts from survivors of domestic abuse, alongside representatives from Welsh Women’s Aid, Pobl, and young people from the Her Voice Wales.

Staff from the Welsh Women’s Aid Survivor Network and Eleri Thomas, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, also spoke at the event, which took place on May 5th.

Anyone wanting to know more about Vale Domestic Abuse Services and the support it offers can visit www.valedas.org or call 01446 744755.

 

image caption:

Vicky Friis, Chief Executive Officer at Vale DAS

Macey Young – Representative Her Voice Wales Project

Galata Archer Talavera – Representative Her Voice Wales Project

Carryn Williams – Chair of Vale Domestic Abuse Services

Eleri Thomas MBE – Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner Gwent

Michaela O’Neill – Vale of Glamorgan CBC – Rights Ambassador Project Worker

Sara Kirkpatrick, Chief Executive Officer Welsh Women’s Aid