As you may know, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, has this week argued that those at risk of domestic abuse are "still being let down" in England and Wales. Her comments follow a 2013 review by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) which highlighted flaws in the way police handled cases of domestic abuse.
Mrs May's comments show the importance of working in partnership with other agencies to ensure that all cases of domestic abuse are treated seriously. Here in Norfolk, we have built an excellent relationship with Norfolk Constabulary and believe their response to the findings of the 2013 review to have been positive.
We work closely with the police to deliver our support to people who are at risk of serious harm and have 10 Leeway independent domestic violence advisors permanently based at police stations around Norfolk. This makes sure people experiencing domestic abuse receive high quality one-to-one support as they deal with the authorities and their case progresses through the criminal justice system.
Through Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC) and the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), we are able to work with the police and other partners to ensure that information is shared and opportunities to help those who are risk of immediate or future harm are not missed.
In September we will also be working in partnership with Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk Community Safety Partnership and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to put on a national domestic abuse conference, and this is just another example of their commitment and support towards the issue of domestic abuse.
However, whilst great strides have been made to change the approach and training of officers both in Norfolk and across the country, that's not to say that more cannot be done to improve support for those experiencing domestic abuse.
Leeway is an independent, Norfolk-based charity specialising in offering support to anyone experiencing domestic abuse. To receive free, confidential and non-judgmental advice, please call our 24 hour helpline on 0300 561 0077.
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