As we speed towards the end of the month, and with that towards the Winter Fair (if you’re there drop by the stand for a cuppa), I’d like to highlight and remind members of the Union’s commitment towards the ‘Not in My name’ campaign, writes FUW Brecon and Radnor Executive Officer Kath Shaw.

Established in 2012, Not in my Name aims to raise awareness about violence against women and involves Women’s Institutes recruiting male ambassadors from their communities to make the White Ribbon promise to never use, excuse or remain silent about men’s violence against women.

The FUW renewed its pledge to that at the Royal Welsh Show in July, when we hosted the launch of this year’s campaign. We also attended a key stakeholder event at the beginning of the week and then joined the Wales WI for their annual candlelight vigil outside the Senedd.

There are many consequences of domestic abuse, including the development of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions, and the FUW made a commitment to keep the spotlight on mental health, this campaign is part of that ongoing work.

Domestic abuse affects all of our communities, urban and rural. We support the calls to seek to eliminate domestic abuse and support victims regardless of their occupation and gender.

For many people home is not a place of safety and COVID-19 restrictions at the time increased the isolation suffered by many which is often exacerbated in our rural communities. It has also been more difficult for victims of domestic abuse to seek help at a time when incidence of domestic abuse has increased, which is even more acute in some of our isolated rural communities.

We believe that we have a duty as an organisation embedded in our rural communities to play our part in raising awareness of these issues and supporting people where we can.

Behaving in an abusive way can also be a sign of poor mental health – and getting help for your mental health can lead to a positive change in behaviour. We want to encourage anyone who is worried about their own or someone else’s behaviour to seek help.

As part of the campaign, the FUW is working with partner organisations to provide Domestic Abuse Training to all staff and officials to better understand domestic abuse and how to signpost people to specialist support. Together, we can make a difference!