The living room certainly looked lived in, I felt nervous but probably looked a right mess.
Sitting down, his voice was soft and calm and sort of put me at ease. I tried not to make too much eye contact and turned my attention to my daughter and tried to focus on her. I can remember both of us giggling at something she did. The ice felt as though it had been melted.
He took his time with me and let me take control. If I needed to stop, he let me, if I wanted to go slow he allowed me too. It was difficult but I knew I had to do it, for a chance of moving forward.
Making my final statement was daunting and scary. How could I tell that he wasn’t judging me with every word he wrote. I wasn’t sure if he would go back to the station, to tell everyone how he had taken a statement from someone who was involved in “just a domestic”, saying, why doesn’t she just leave.
I had those butterflies lying at the bottom of my stomach, fear of doing the wrong thing and not knowing if I was doing the right thing. I was so very confused and scared!
His presence, at the time, made me feel safe but how would I feel once he left?
I can still remember his name, his face and professional manner.
To him, I was just another number, a statistic, a victim. Someone who should just leave or another person making him think, what did she do to make him do that.
He probably couldn’t understand why I had put up with him for 3 years, why I stayed, waiting for one more day to come because he promised me he would change. That day never came.
Not once did I ever think about the process that had taken place for me to make this statement. From that first phone call to the controllor, to it being radioed out to the Police Officers and then that knock on my front door.
First appearances count but I dread to think what he must have thought of me as I relived my own personal events.
It took time and strength for me to actually do this but my reason for doing so was right in front of me; my daughter.
I can’t begin to imagin where I would be now, if I hadn’t have made that particular call. At least I had the opportunity to do so. I now worry that the proposed cuts will further endanger victims and take that right away from them.
Police Officers often get singled out and blamed for things that are out of their control.
Dedicated officers working tirelessly in order to serve and protect, yet cuts to officers could mean domestic abuse calls pushed down the list. No awareness of training because of cuts and Police having no control over this situation and having nothing to do other than abide by it.
Frustration with fewer officers on the ground, how are they able to support those in need?
What happens when officers work so very hard, only to find CPS will not support a prosecution, the court system fails the victim or no prosecution because of lack of evidence from the victim.
The Police are not to blame for this.
Cuts will do more damage than good and soon there will be zero confidence in them. So who will victims turn to when they find the courage to speak out?
I can see nothing more than barriers preventing victims from leaving the relationship.
The key point needs to be, all agencies working together in order to support the victim, a victim cannot get through this alone and with threats of cuts, how can they become survivors?
The reality is, where domestic abuse is concerned, all agencies must work together in order to become beneficial to victims.
Aftercare and support is absolutely vital because without it, there is every chance they will go back to their perpetrator, the isolation and manipulation pulling them back to the complex cycle.
Lack of understanding and empathy, teamed together with no safe place or financial independance makes it increasingly difficult to simply, just leave.