The Welsh Government unveiled a national campaign from Cardiff University Students Union to raise awareness of violence against women, domestic abuse and the importance of healthy relationships.
Launched during Freshers’ week, the scheme is focusing on changing young people’s attitudes towards relationships and encouraging respect for partners and oneself. Local Government and Government Business Minister Lesley Griffiths along with representatives from NUS Wales came to the Students’ Union for Wednesday’s Societies Fayre to launch the campaign alongside Emma Carragher, Cardiff University’s Women’s Officer and other elected officer.s.
CUTV’s Yasmine Canga-Valles interviewed both Rhiannon Hedges and Lesley Griffiths asking them how they hoped the scheme would help Cardiff Students and their long-term plans for the campaign. You can see the full interviews on CUTV’s youtube page here http://bit.ly/GBDb07
Lesley Griffiths was quoted saying: “the government has worked tirelessly to support victims and reduce rates of violence against women and domestic abuse. Our Fresher’s ‘Respect’ campaign is part of our continuing commitment to challenging attitudes towards violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.” Griffiths also comments on the choice of timing for the launch saying that “Starting university is an exciting time of new friendships, relationships and experiences. The campaign is deliberately aimed at those embarking on the next step of their lives in the hope instilling the right values in them at the start of their adult lives will mean they carry those values for life.”
The Respect campaign is supported by NUS Wales and, alongside their Right to be Safe campaign that will be launched next month, will complement their Zero Tolerance project. Posters providing students with information on the help and support available through the All-Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline willbe displayed around towns, cities and major Welsh Universities. The campaign will also utilise social media sites, with the hashtag ‘#Respect_GiveIt’ to raise awareness.
The NUS Wales Women’s Officer Rhiannon Hedge says that the campaign aims to “tackle the misconception that it is the duty of the victim to do all she can to protect herself from abuse and sexual violence and focus on the need to change the attitudes of the perpetrators.” The campaign has a series of videos about stalking, the definition of consent; challenging the blame culture and domestic abuse aiming to reiterate the severity of having a disrespectful culture. Hedge urges “all freshers, students and other people to visit the campaign website, or follow it on Twitter and Facebook and to pledge support for ‘Respect’ and challenging attitudes toward violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual abuse.”
– News Editor