So when the system fails, who can people really turn to for the Justice they deserve, need and want? With many encouraging words and probes to speak out about such horrific crimes, what actually is put into place to keep those people safe enough never to go back to the arms of their abuser or become a repeat victim again?
When isolation surrounds you as a person experiencing domestic abuse, how can a failed system provide anything else? What other option can be given if domestic abuse has isolation to offer and so too does the Justice System?
Encouragement is often given to a person experiencing domestic abuse to leave the relationship but how can they be supported safely when they can’t rely on the ones supposedly protecting them that just feels like out of the fire, into the frying pan.
Power is what domestic abuse is all about, the perpetrator having power over their partner but also those IN power who are there to serve and protect abuse their trusting position, giving no hope or encouragement for anyone to seek help from.
More often than not, the Police are the first port of call a victim will reach out to for help. They don’t make that call as soon as the abuse takes place; they incur many incidents of abuse before reaching out for help. Police abuse of people in vulnerable situations is not only unfair but is also a system that is failing those who most need it.
The system exposes at best a failure to understand let alone support those affected by the traumatic experience of domestic abuse and if, those experiencing domestic abuse don’t have the Police to turn to for protection, then who else can they go to?
Cuts to Legal Aid, slashes in funding and the closure of much needed refuges are all safety networks being taken away from victims so there can be no transition from victim to survivor with no other alternative than staying in the relationship that they are in. Thus having a ripple effect of putting a stain on the NHS attending as a repeat patient, incurring costs through the Court procedure and taking up time of making statements and with drawing them.
It feels very much like two steps forward and three steps back where domestic abuse is concerned. There isn’t anything strong and sturdy enough in place to reduce the number of victims and stop the abuse from taking place with early prevention. There is far too much pressure on the victim to leave yet no safety net around them to help them do this. It’s utterly undermining people and endangering them further.
We have got to see a positive change all round before we see a radical change in the number of people experiencing domestic abuse. There are still 2 women each week killed by a partner or a former partner and the terrifying thing is that number has not changed for far too long. Why not? What needs to be done to decrease this number because whatever needs to be done isn’t being done?
Education is first and foremost, it’s about raising awareness of what is healthy and unhealthy in relationships so people can identify the early warning signs as soon as they start happening rather than being is so deep they can’t see a way out and when they can see a way out, it’s too late. It’s about early prevention, not waiting for people to die so we can hear those famous words, “we will learn from this” but the question is, will we really?