The purpose of the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 (‘the Act’) is to improve—
- arrangements for the prevention of gender-based violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence;
- arrangements for the protection of victims of gender-based violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence;
- support for people affected by gender-based violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence.
The Act places a duty on the Welsh Ministers to prepare, publish and review a national strategy that contains objectives contributing to the purpose of this Act, timescales for achieving those objectives and the actions to be taken to achieve them. There is a duty on the Welsh Ministers to implement the national strategy.
The Act also places a duty on local authorities and Local Health Boards to prepare local strategies to support the national strategy and outlines the matters to which they must have regard in preparing and reviewing then. There is a similar duty on these bodies to implement their local strategies.
The Welsh Ministers are given a power to make regulations requiring local authorities to publish information on whether their education functions promote the purpose of the Act, and if so, how.
Provision is also made for the Welsh Ministers to appoint an adviser to advise and help them to achieve the purpose of the Act.
The Explanatory Notes to the Act provide detailed commentary on the various provisions.
Coming into force
Sections 1 and 24 to 26 came into force on 29 April 2015, which is the day the Act received Royal Assent, in accordance with section 25(1). Section 10 and sections 14 to 21 came into force two months later, in accordance with section 25(2).
The remaining provisions of this Act come into force on a day appointed by the Welsh Ministers in an order made by statutory instrument, in accordance with section 25(3). The following Orders have been made:
- The Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 (Commencement No. 2) Order 2015
- The Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 (Commencement No. 1) Order 2015
Subordinate legislation made under the Act:
No subordinate legislation has yet been made under the Act.
Consideration of the legislation by the Senedd:
The Bill was introduced by Lesley Griffiths MS, who was the Minister for Local Government and Government Business at the time, on 30 June 2014. Following a change in ministerial portfolios in September 2014, the First Minister authorised Leighton Andrews AM, Minister for Public Services, as the new Member in Charge of the Bill, from 12 September 2014. The Act was passed by Senedd Cymru (then known as the National Assembly for Wales) on 10 March 2015.
More information about the Bill is available on the Senedd’s website, including a record of the passage of the Bill through the Senedd (known then as the National Assembly for Wales) and the Explanatory Memorandum that was prepared by the Welsh Government (as amended at Stage 2).
The Act received Royal Assent on 29 April 2015.