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Domestic Violence

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Charity tentatively welcomes victims’ code

Women’s Aid has welcomed the news that domestic violence will be considered ‘one of the most serious crimes’ under the newly released Victims’ Code, but warns that police responses to domestic violence are still failing women in many areas.

The charity particularly welcomes the news that victims will be entitled to updates on the perpetrator’s case within one working day of action being taken by the police. This will mean, for example, that women will be told about a perpetrator being released on bail. However, the charity is warning that without specialist domestic violence training for all police officers, the new standards under the victims’ code are unlikely to be met by many forces.

According to the charity, many police officers are not given any specialist training on domestic violence, meaning that too often victims are let down by the police. Research undertaken by Women’s Aid shows that police take little or no action the first three times they are called by a woman reporting domestic violence and lose interest again after five callouts.

The charity is calling for specialist training for all police officers at the start of their careers, and regularly thereafter, to ensure they fully understand the seriousness of this crime and are able to respond appropriately to domestic violence callouts.

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