Wales: Practical interventions that work

Having set the scene and laid the foundations of the work, the next session will introduces some of the more practical activities and interventions that lead to outcomes that have supported Welsh communities; and a chance to discuss ‘what works’ to bring about effective collaboration between law enforcement, public health and Welsh society.

Chair: Chief Super Intendent Ian Roberts, Lead for policing in Wales for VAWDASV and anti-racism plan, Gwent Police

Dr Joanne Hopkins, Programme Director Adverse Childhood Experiences, Criminal Justice and Violence Prevention, Public Health Wales

Emma Sheeran, Public Health Researcher, Public Health Wales

Women’s pathways to offending were investigated through engagement with women with lived experiences of being on the cusp of entering the criminal justice system, to identify opportunities for prevention and early intervention for women, as well as their children.

Dr Samia Addis, Public Health Researcher, Public Health Wales, Joanne Hopkins, Programme Director, Public Health Wales

Violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV) is a major public health problem, a criminal justice issue, and human rights violation which harms the health of communities, societies, and economies. This review was commissioned by the Welsh Government to inform the adoption of evidence-based practice through the national VAWDASV strategy.

This systematic evidence assessment of what works to prevent VAWDASV is underpinned by public health principles which provide a framework to understand the causes and consequences of violence and prevention. This review identifies effective practice across a range of violence types and within a range of settings and identifies interventions with strong and promising evidence of effectiveness.

Supporting Documents:

What Works to Prevent Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV)?

Dr. Alex Walker, Public Health Researcher, Public Health Wales

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated conditions for domestic violence and abuse, with experts and academics sharing concerns over the safety of victims and survivors. During this period, changes in daily routines experienced by the nation as a result of the pandemic has resulted in different groups of people becoming aware of domestic violence and abuse, and reporting their concerns to the police or domestic abuse helplines.

This study, delivered in partnership with the University of Exeter, and funded by Public Health Wales, included survey and interviews with members of the public to better understand the experiences and behaviours of bystanders to domestic violence and abuse during a period of social restrictions. Whilst implemented on a small scale, this study was the first of its kind and provides new insights into bystander experiences during a global pandemic.

Supporting document:

Bystander-Experiences-of-Domestic-Violence-and-Abuse-during-the-COVID-19-Pandemic.pdf (

Bryony Parry, Communications and Engagement Lead, Wales Violence Prevention Unit, Public Health Wales

As demonstrated in the Systematic Evidence Assessment on What Works to Prevention Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV), bystander interventions and campaigns have been shown to illicit positive outcomes in the prevention of VAWDASV. Therefore, the Wales Violence Prevention Unit created and delivered the #SafeToSay campaign, aimed at empowering prosocial bystander responses against sexual harassment within the night life settings.

The campaign was coproduced with the Good Night Out Campaign, with support from Welsh Women’s Aid, and has been delivered in two phases.  Phase One was delivered in Cardiff and Swansea in 2021, and called everyone to action. Phase Two was delivered in Swansea in 2022, and specifically looked to engage men as prosocial bystanders.

 Both phases received a process and outcomes evaluation. This presentation will provide insight into the evaluations of both phases, and share what has been learned through recent behavioural insights work to better understand how to engage men in sexual harassment prevention.

 Supporting documents:

Evaluation: Preventing Sexual Violence in the Night Time Economy

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