Victims and survivors of domestic abuse, will be better protected through the criminal justice system, in a change of legislation being welcomed by the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner.
The changes nationally help to reinforce work locally. The Commissioner launched the Drive Programme, which aims to reduce the number of child and adult victims of domestic abuse by challenging perpetrator behaviour, as well as other diversionary projects. He has also invested in a number of projects and campaigns, providing specialist support to victims and is committed to ensuring the police have the resources to continue to make tackling domestic abuse a priority.
The draft bill going before MPs will ensure victims are better protected in court and no longer have to face cross-examination from abusers. It will create new powers to force perpetrators into behaviour-changing rehabilitation programmes such as the Drive Programme and create a legal definition of domestic abuse, to include economic abuse and control. A national “Domestic Abuse Commissioner” will also be established and tasked with improving the response and support for victims across public services.
Commissioner John Campion said “My commitment is to always put victims first and I’m pleased to see the holistic approach to tackling this complex and important issue, at a local and national level. It’s vital that victims and survivors have specialist support to cope and recover.
I am also committed to tackling offender behaviour at the root, and ensuring the police and criminal justice system do all they can to protect victims and bring offenders to justice.”
If you have been a victim of domestic abuse, please find contact details for support services, commissioned by the PCC, across West Mercia. Please make sure that you also report it to the police.
West Mercia Women’s Aid: Call 0800 980 3331 (Worcestershire), 0800 783 1359 (Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford) or visit westmerciawomensaid.org
Victim Support: Call 0808 168 9111 or visit victimsupport.org.uk
West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre: Call 01905 724514 (Worcestershire) or 01432 344777 (Herefordshire) or visit wmrsasc.org.uk
AXIS counselling and psychotherapy: Call 01743 357777 (Shropshire) or 01952 278000 (Telford) or visit axiscounselling.org.uk
Issued: Monday 21st January 2019