Hucknall’s partnership based domestic abuse initiative has been praised by Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper.
The Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford has been campaigning for more spending on domestic abuse services nationwide and said the Hucknall based scheme is what is needed elsewhere.
“There needs to be a national standard when it comes to tackling domestic abuse and supporting victims whilst responding to the local problem,” said Mrs Cooper in an interview with the Dispatch. “There are huge variations across the country and forces are not learning from each other.”
The MP, who recently joined the fight to save a domestic abuse refuge from closure in Northampton, is calling for a National Commissioner to set the standards and hold people to account.
“The work in Hucknall funded through the Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping is to commended and we need more good people like Paddy to recognise the importance of keeping women, and men, safe from domestic abuse,” said Mrs Cooper who is married to Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls.
“Shocking figures released recently by the Office for National Statistics show that 30 per cent women and 16.3 per cent of men have been victims of domestic abuse. That’s equivalent to almost eight million people in our country.
“All too often domestic violence is ignored and hidden behind the net curtains, while victims of domestic abuse are met with silence.”
Ashfield has some of the highest figures for domestic abuse across the county but the employment of a specialist worker from Women’s Aid in partnership with the police in Hucknall is proving a success.
“We know what works and having a specialist support worker does,” said Hucknall’s Insp Nick Butler. “We have been amazed at the difference having a domestic abuse worker here has made in supporting survivors by giving independent, professional advice but also in her approach to preventing further incidents.
“It’s not only about convictions but changing the cycle of abuse for the survivor and the offender.”
Insp Butler said the role has become invaluable and proved such a winning partnership that further funding has been applied for to extend the service for another year.
“This specialist role is what we needed and has freed up hundreds of hours of officers’ time whilst meeting the demands of those who need it most.”
If you are a victim of domestic abuse and need help contact the 24 hour free helpline on 0808 800 0340.