Reports of domestic violence ‘only the tip of a worrying iceberg,’ Deputy Commissioner tells conference
More than four out of ten (41%) of violent incidents reported to Nottinghamshire Police concerns domestic violence, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Cutland said today (Wednesday 10 June).
She told delegates at the Tackling Domestic Violence in Faith Communities that although incidents of such violence and abuse (DVA) were being increasingly reported they were known to be “only the tip of a very worrying iceberg.”
Crimes like these, she said, have devastating effects on all concerned including children, many of whom go on to have mental health or substance misuse issues.
A long-time champion of DVA victims, Ms Cutland described domestic violence as a complex crime and “still a great source of shame, with the victim still being blamed by society and people around them.” It happens, she pointed out, in all walks of life, all classes, all cultures and all faiths.
The Deputy Commissioner spoke of faith being a “really important aspect in many people’s lives, setting our standards and often our moral compass. The fact that a multi-faith meeting is discussing DVA means that it is an issue that you recognise needs collective addressing. It is important that we all understand that many aspects of domestic violence and abuse are illegal, immoral and against the teachings of our religions. We therefore have a collective duty to support victims and bring perpetrators to account.”
Addressing the conference in tandem with DCI Yvonne Dales from Nottinghamshire Police, Ms Cutland said the force’s commitment to tackling DVA included one of its priorities which was to work in partnership with others to ensure support for victims and survivors. This, as reflected in the county’s Police and Crime Plan and elsewhere in the UK, was because the police had neither the time nor capacity to do this all by themselves as the time it takes to recover from domestic abuse can be lengthy.
The Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office – along with other partners – commissions support for victims. Adults are offered options and support no matter what they decide to do, and children are given help to cope and recover. “We contribute towards commissioning a local helpline, help through courts and specialist meetings, services for children survivors and general cope and recover work,” she explained.
With a view to preventing DV happening in the first place some funding also goes into preventive work in schools with young men.
In this country, DVA kills two women every week, and one incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute. Ms Cutland spoke of the policing of domestic violence now being much more victim-focused and the police being far better trained following the tragic events leading to the murder Nottinghamshire’s Casey Brittle.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 10th June 2015