Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse Petition

As a direct result of our research with older people in the community and older victim-survivors, our volunteers raised a petition to Senedd to call upon Welsh Government to transform the response to older people experiencing domestic abuse.

The petition can be viewed via the following link:

https://www.assembly.wales/en/gethome/e-petitions/Pages/petitiondetail.aspx?PetitionID=1397

The petition was first considered at the Senedd in July 2019 after receiving 125 signatures.

It was again reviewed on the 5th November 2019 where it was agreed the Senedd would write to the Deputy Minster for Health and Social Services to ask them to:

1. Seek a response to issues raised by the petitioners and the Older Peoples Commissioner around training for professionals and the call for a national action plan;

2. Ask how the welsh Government intends to support the work being taken forward by the Older Peoples Commissioner;

3. To request guidance be issued to relevant organisation in relation to the use of inclusive imagery in materials promoting domestic abuse in services.

A response was received from the Deputy Minister and the Chief Whip on the 3rd December 2019 and a response sent back which led to the petition being discussed again in the Senedd on the 21st January 2020.

To view the pettion being discussed fllow this link, the discussion begins at 1:02:42

https://senedd.tv/Meeting/Archive/d7c560f8-671d-4dd4-aaec-4a06c8845e10?autostart=True#

It was agreed by the committee the best way forward would be to facilitate meetings between the petitioners and Welsh Government directly, which will hopefully result in the objectives of the petition being met directly and more effectively.  

The topic of difficulties with funding was raised and specifically for outreach services, which was mentioned may largely be required for older survivors of domestic abuse. The benefit of providing training to professionals was questioned, as if there are not enough professionals available to deliver the services the training becomes void. The need to be fully satisfied services are funded to provide outreach services was considered, as if they are not this would imply a discrimination in the system against older people who are more likely to be home owners.

It was agreed the committee would be loathed to close the petition at present as it is an important awareness raising topic which they would like to explore further. Members of the committee were shocked by figures such as no one over the age of 57 had been included in data until 2017. They agreed to ask what it is they as a committee can do to help raise awareness and to keep a watch brief on the petition and check back in a period of time to make sure actions have taken place.

It was further publicly acknowledged by the committee that very rarely are older people seen on posters, which tend to be very stereotypical and not inclusive.

After a delay due to COVID-19 our victim survivors petition was discussed again by the Petitions Committee on Tuesday 9th June 2020 after a response from the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip and a reply from Dewis Choice.

To view the petition being discussed follow this link, the discussion begins at 0.35.38:

http://www.senedd.tv/Meeting/Archive/bf2763bf-4abc-4e5e-9ae0-1c09be6020fc?autostart=True#

The Committee after considering the Minister’s response, acknowledged the funding which goes to outreach services, mentioning however this does not mean it reaches older people especially as there is evidence older people do not widely access these services. It was mentioned there needs to be more specific figures, and a request for marketing to be more directed by organisations towards older people, as their services are there they just need to reach out to older people. The Committee agreed to engage with the Older People’s Commissioner, asking the office what they consider should be done by the government to increase levels of support. It was acknowledged that older people will be less inclined to access outreach services as they are reluctant to leave home, however the outreach services need to make more effort to be targeting their services to older people.

The Committee agreed to contact the Older Peoples Commissioners Office and the Minister on these points in an attempt to making further progress with the petition without closing it yet.

We look forward to the future positive progression of the petition, thank you to all our older victim-survivors who have made this possible.