From the outset, the Commissioner made it clear that he wanted to see extra priority and resources made available for survivors of domestic violence and abuse and crimes against girls and women. His appointment of Chris Cutland, a staunch supporter of victims and campaigner against domestic violence for many years, as his Deputy during his first term as Police and Crime Commissioner, is testament to that pledge.
Just as violence from strangers is unacceptable, we need to make domestic abuse utterly unacceptable too. There is a growing urgency for everyone to understand the extent of the problem and give it the attention it deserves.
There are ramifications for society as a whole, not just the victim. The cost per annum to the economy is currently running at around £15bn if you take health services, business downtime and the police and criminal justice system into account.
| Paving the way to better services|
During her tenure, Chris Cutland, formerly the Chief Executive of Women’s Aid Integrated Services in Nottingham, led research, service development and a national Conference, raising important questions for the county - and the country - about how survivors of domestic abuse could be better supported and education introduced as an early intervention strategy.
During 2013 the Deputy Commissioner led a detailed review of all domestic abuse services in the county, working with Nottinghamshire County Council. During that review, partner agencies and survivor focus groups gave positive feedback about help given to domestic violence survivors but also pointed to areas of service needing improvement. In response to those findings, the PCC and the County Council have co-commissioned a new Domestic Abuse Support Service in the county.
"Protect, support and respond to repeat female victims of medium risk domestic abuse"
In 2013 the above tender was awarded to Leicester University who worked in collaboration with Equation. The Commissioner commissioned the initiative in collaboration with key local stakeholders following a report from the former Nottinghamshire Police Authority which identified the need for an intervention to prevent medium risk, repeat cases from escalating to high risk. Moreover, whilst high risk domestic abuse cases are considered the highest priority and typically require the most intervention, the largest category of active domestic abuse cases in Nottinghamshire – 43% - are medium risk. The intervention also sought to respond to victims of domestic abuse who were often well-known in multi-agency contexts, but who had historically proved difficult to engage.
The final reports (produced March 2016) can be downloaded below:-
| Chance for Change Conference|
The Commissioner’s Chance for Change conference showcased new thinking and developments in domestic abuse support. It was held on Wednesday 9th March 2016. Details on the conference and the presentations made can be found HERE