Operation Unite is North Wales Police's response to tackling Violence Against Women and Girls. It includes preventative work, officer training and making improvements to how we carry out investigations.
Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)
What is VAWG? Any act of gender-based violence that is directed at a woman because she is a woman, or acts of violence which are suffered disproportionally by women”. The majority of VAWG is carried out by men against women and girls (although men can also experience violence or abuse).
VAWG encompasses any offence which disproportionately affects women and girls. The VAWG offences most likely to show prevalence alongside and correlation to the night time economy are sexual offences including incidents of ‘spiking’, ‘catcalling’ causing harassment, alarm and distress contrary to the Public Order Act 1986 and assault.
North Wales Police is committed to eradicating Violence against Women and Girls. Our mission is to make north Wales the safest place in the UK to work, live and visit. Please be assured that any reports made to us will be treated seriously and with priority.
Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman
VAWG brings together 11 areas of gender-based violence:
Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, financial or psychological and consists of a pattern of controlling behaviour which comes from an abuser’s desire to maintain power and control over their partner or family members. It is not caused by alcohol or anger issues.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of their social background, age, gender, faith, ethnicity or sexuality.
Many women and girls are forced or coerced or deceived into selling sex and/or to continue selling sex. Trafficking includes recruiting and exploiting women and girls from abroad and from within the UK for the purposes of prostitution (or domestic servitude).
Sexual Exploitation is linked to trafficking and prostitution in that woman and girls can be exploited sexually through trafficking or prostitution. Sexual exploitation affects people of any age, gender, race, ability, or sexual orientation.
Sexual exploitation of children and young people is an activity by anyone who has power over young people and uses it to sexually abuse them. This can involve a broad range of exploitative activities, from seemingly ‘consensual’ relationships and informal exchange of sex for attention, a place to stay, gifts or cigarettes, through to serious organised crime and includes sexual exploitation by gangs.
‘Honour’ based violence or ‘honour’ crime is an act of violence explained by the abuser as being committed in order to protect or defend the ‘honour’ of the family/ community. Young women are most likely to experience this type of violence where they are perceived to have acted outside of acceptable behaviour including:
having boyfriends/ girlfriends from outside the family/community,
A forced marriage is one that takes place where one or both of the couple do not consent or lack the capacity to consent.
A forced marriage is not the same as an arranged marriage – the difference is that individuals choose to get married with an arranged marriage even though their families play a role in finding their partner.
Some women can experience abuse by their partner or in-laws for not bringing enough of a dowry (money or goods) with them when they get married
Stalking is repeated harassment that causes fear, distress or alarm to the person experiencing it. It can include threatening phone calls, social media, emails, texts and letters, damaging property and following or spying on the person.
Upskirting is when a person operates equipment beneath the clothing of another person, with the intention of enabling them-selves or another person to observe the persons genitals / buttocks / underwear in circumstances where they would otherwise not be visible, and this is done for sexual gratification or to humiliate / alarm / distress the person.
Revealing or sexually explicit images or videos of a person posted on the internet, typically by a former sexual partner, without the consent of the subject and in order to cause them distress or embarrassment.