Page last updated at 05:59 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 06:59 UK

Blog to highlight domestic abuse

Domestic abuse posed by actors
People can contribute anonymously to the blog by contacting Nerys Evans

A blog has been created by an assembly member for women to write about their experiences of violence.

Called Stories Behind the Stats aims to highlight the severity of the issue.

Plaid Cymru AM Nerys Evans wants to start a national debate and the assembly government to fund a campaign to raise more awareness of the issue.

The assembly government said it was delivering a national strategy on domestic abuse, with by a 3.7m budget, a sevenfold increase on 2002's funding.

In July, Ms Evans undertook a confidential survey where three Welsh politicians admitted to being the victims of rape and one of domestic abuse.

The AM for Mid and West Wales said that one in four women would suffer some kind of abuse in their lifetime simply because they were female.

"The first time you come across this statistic it is shocking but the more you hear it the less of an impact it has and the shock now disappears," she said.

"But behind the stats are women with real life experiences of suffering violence and abuse purely because of their gender.

The shocking thing is that it took politicians to speak out, albeit anonymously to get attention to the issue
Nerys Evans AM

"These are women from all types of background, professions, class, religion, ethnicity and age."

She said the blog would demonstrate that domestic violence was happening across all communities and would encourage people to discuss what was still a taboo subject for many women.

It is the second part in her campaign to bring more attention to the issue after her survey of AMs gained a lot of media interest.

Ms Evans revealed in July that she had surveyed all 60 AMs and eight responded.

'Many projects'

None of the three reported the rape and neither did the AM who was the victim of domestic abuse.

"Those stats aren't as shocking as they seem, they follow national trends and I suspect that there are more experiences with the assembly than the anonymous poll indicates," said Ms Evans.

"The shocking thing is that it took politicians to speak out, albeit anonymously to get attention to the issue."

Ms Evans said she hoped to open up the debate about domestic abuse and called on the assembly government to fund a campaign that would challenge attitudes towards it.

"Abuse can take numerous forms: physical, emotional, psychological, and financial and it's about time we opened up this debate and challenged the attitudes that exist, for the good of the whole of Welsh society," she said.

The assembly government said it was delivering a national strategy to tackle domestic abuse.

"Funding for domestic abuse initiatives has increased sevenfold since 2002 and now stand at 3.7m," said a spokesman.

"This funding currently supports many projects across Wales, including a domestic abuse co-ordinator in every community safety partnership in Wales."

He said Welsh Women's Aid received funding of more than 1m a year from the domestic abuse budget, including funding for a freephone bilingual 24 hour helpline, and funding for peripatetic children's workers, who provide additional support for young people affected by domestic abuse.



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SEE ALSO
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