THE community in Ammanford will be taking a stand against violence to women and girls this week.

Pupils from Amman Valley School and Ysgol y Bedol will be joining councillors, emergency services, charities and domestic abuse services and individuals alongside Senedd Member Joyce Watson at a meeting at Ammanford Pensioners Hall on Thursday, November 23 to say no to violence against women and girls.

Ms Watson, who has been a campaigner against violence for the last 20 years, is inviting people to march through Ammanford on the date, pledging to change the story on abuse.

Ms Watson – the Senedd Member for Mid and West Wales – said: “We all deserve to live full, fear free lives, but the seeds of abuse are sown young.

“The level and the pressure of day-to-day harassment which pupils face now is both alarming and unacceptable.

“I am pleased that so many young people are coming, and I am looking forward to hearing their perspectives.

“Culture change doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s only through catching young people at this stage, teaching about respect and kindness, that things will change.

“I believe it’s possible to end men’s violence against women and girls in our lifetimes, but we need to start with the basics.

“Abuse can start with showing off and silly comments, then build to more serious harassment.

“If left unchallenged, this behaviour can build to a pattern of violence which damages families and communities, and can cascade through generations.

“1.7 million women experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2022. Starting young we can change the story.

“Ending violence against women is everyone’s business. We all have a part to play in helping achieve societal change by challenging toxic attitudes that can lead to violence.

“Being allies with girls and women every day shouldn’t be underestimated – even the smallest actions can bring change.

“We need to challenge attitudes in order to change behaviour, and we need to start young. We will not stop until everyone can live fear free.”

This event is taking place ahead of White Ribbon Day, the international day for the elimination of violence against women, which is on November 25.

Ms Watson and attendees will be assembling in the cricket club car park at 1.15pm on Thursday, November 23 to walk through Ammanford to the Pensioners Hall for a 2pm start for the event.