ON A recent visit to the excellent Newport council information station, I was able to see first-hand the excellent work of the Newport domestic abuse unit.

The staff do a wonderful job helping and supporting victims, and also run courses to raise awareness about domestic abuse which I and my constituency team recently attended.

I can’t recommend the course enough -; it was a real reminder of how domestic abuse, which often goes unreported, can affect men and women from all backgrounds. Statistics show around one in four women and one in six men will suffer some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime. Probably one of the most thought-provoking parts of the course for me was the increase in teenagers experiencing abusive relationships. A lot of work is done by many organisations to draw attention to domestic abuse and only last week the World Premiere of The Devil’s Vice, a film exploring domestic abuse, was held in Market Hall cinema in Brynmawr.

The Devil’s Vice, funded by GIFT (Gwent Independent Film Trust), Gwent Police and a number of UK police forces, has been made by BAFTA-winning film maker Peter Watkins Hughes. You can find out more about this film by visiting:

For organisations who regularly come into contact with the public I would highly recommend the course run by the local Domestic Abuse Co-ordinator (employed by Barnardo’s on behalf of One Newport’s Domestic Abuse Forum )which can help staff spot the signs of domestic abuse and point victims in the direction of the help and support they might need.

l The announcement last week that jobs at Avana bakery are at risk following the loss of the contract with M&S is very worrying news for loyal workers and their families.

As the local MP, Paul Flynn has written, with the support of all Newport’s AMs, MPs and the leader of the council, to M&S to express just how hard this could hit Newport and how we hope they will reconsider the decision.

Along with Paul I am also questioning the proposal by the Ministry of Justice to privatise the Ministry of Justice Shared Services office in Celtic Springs Business Park. Many constituents have contacted me worried that their jobs could be outsourced or even potentially moved off shore under this government’s model. We are meeting the unions locally about this and I will continue to raise this in Parliament.

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