Cllr Anne Jones: Support for those experiencing Domestic Violence

Anne Jones attended the premiere of a new Police Training video, which aims to encourage a more supportive approach to those experiencing domestic violence. Existing officers and new recruits will view the film as part of a redesigned training programme.

The film was inspired by the testimony of those who had experienced domestic violence and had consequently participated in the Freedom Programme. Two survivors of domestic violence appeared in the film and gave moving accounts of their experiences. They also talked candidly about their experiences regarding police response, action and attitude. The experience of the victims regarding police response was that they felt invisible and part of a paperwork process, rather than a person who had experienced an appalling crime and needed help and support.

The film was made by Essex police, but the particpants came from Southend. They and many others have benefitted from joining the Freedom Programme,run by Safer Places. The aims are;

To help people understand the beliefs held by abusers

To illustrate the effects of domestic violence on children

To assist in recognising future abusers

To help victims gain self-esteem and confidence and improve the quality of their lives

Anne says ‘ Domestic violence is a blight in civilised society. It needs to be dealt with with sensitivity and understanding. Dealing with Domestic Violence, must not centre solely on the perpetrator, but must focus on the victim and their family.

It is encouraging that the police are talking a number of new approaches, including use of body cameras to add to the evidence gathering process, which should help victims in a positive and constructive way’


The Freedom Programme (12 week course) runs at Centre Place Family Centre and Safer Places provide a drop in session at the same location on Wednesdays 10-12, 2-4. (number above).


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