Our response to Channel 4 News exclusive

We’re sending our love and support to all the women who took part in the Channel 4 News exclusive last night. Domestic abuse is never acceptable, and it is particularly shocking to hear accounts from victims who have been subject to abuse from the police – the very people we trust to protect us from violence and abuse.

We know that public confidence in the police remains low – with only one in five victims reporting abuse. When victims do report these crimes, no matter who they are, or who the perpetrator is, they need to receive a quality, consistent response that sees the whole picture and helps them become safe and well.

Domestic abuse must be a priority for the police. Since 2014, we have been working with the College of Policing to develop and deliver Domestic Abuse Matters, a cultural change programme for police forces, which offers long term attitudinal and behavioural change. The programme, which has so far been delivered in 25 police forces across the UK, helps the police to understand what is meant by the term coercive control and prompts them to recognise the high levels of manipulation being used by those perpetrating it. We are also working on additional training for forces to help them tackle domestic abuse perpetrated by officers and plan to begin piloting this over the summer.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council are currently drafting a strategy on police interaction with Violence Against Women and Girls, working directly with women and girls. We welcome this and we want see continued pressure on all police forces to improve their response and increase public confidence.

No victim should ever feel their voice is silenced. Every allegation must be responded to with the same severity and urgency – regardless of the job title of the perpetrator.

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