Let’s start the new year with some great news! WE DID IT!
On December 15 2021, a new national police framework to tackle violence against women was announced, with little fanfare.
It includes a strand to relentlessly pursue perpetrators and actively manage the most dangerous and prolific perpetrators and better use of police powers to protect women and girls and to manage and disrupt perpetrators.
This is exactly what we have been asking police to do using a national approach. I have produced overwhelming and compelling evidence over the years including many cases where women and children have been murdered as well as survivors and families speaking out and many MPs and Peers in both Houses raising questions, tabling debates and yet still the Government resisted.
We know that perpetrators go from partner to partner, they travel and move and they try and fly under the radar. They use power and control tactics on partners and family members and police and others.
They are the most dangerous of perpetrators yet there has been no proactive approach, problem solving or join up by police – until now.
It’s about time the tables were turned on these violent men. They should be the ones to live in fear and feel under threat and pressure – not women and girls.
The relentless pursuit of perpetrators is the most important part of the new national strategy, in my opinion. Perpetrators need to know that the police are proactively coming after them and that they will be held accountable for their behaviour.
We need to see it in action not just words on a page in a press release and in a strategy document. It will not happen overnight. Leadership and making this is a priority is a key step change.
On Monday 13 December 2021 the Government accepted the amendment put forward at Committee stage by Baroness Bertin to add domestic abuse to the list of forms of Serious Violence which all areas must take account of. Minister, Baroness Williams, accepted that this will include domestic abuse-related stalking which again are huge victories and my heartfelt thanks goes to Baroness Royall, Lord Russell, Baroness Newlove, Baroness Brinton and Lord Hunt have championed on our behalf. We still have an amendment tabled to the Policing Bill.
This means vital expert-led training must happen of police, the Crown Prosecution Service, Probation, Judges, Magistrates and court staff. In my opinion, there must be accountability for professionals too.
This has been 26 years in the making – 26 years of asking politely for police to do their job and better protect women by holding violent and abusive men to account.
Once they lead, others will follow.
Without all our pressure, the briefings, sustaining the media focus as well as working with MPs in the House of Commons and Peers in the House of Lords (who pushed so hard in April) this would not have happened.
There’s still much more to do and the devil is always in the detail – next to implementation and what this looks like in practice.
Thank you so much to all of you who signed the petition and who have used your voice. Please keep sharing, retweeting and posting our success on social media.
A special thank you to all survivors and families who have spoken out including Zoe Dronfield, John Clough, Rachel Williams, Celia Peachey, Georgia Gabriel-Hooper, Charlotte Kneer and Gemma Aitchson. Your courage is immeasurable.
You can listen to the many episodes on Crime Analyst about the campaign and the special report interviews with Georgia Gabriel Hooper, Zoe Dronfield, Rachel Williams and Celia Peachey – plus there’s more to come. Go to www.crime-analyst.com
Let’s make 2022 the year the tables are turned on perpetrators.
Happy New Year!