Calling the police remains one of the most effective way to help end violence against women and girls.
That’s the simple reminder from Nottinghamshire Police at the start of an international campaign against gender-based violence.
The UN’s 16 Days of Activism campaign, launched on Friday to coincide with White Ribbon Day, challenges individuals and organisations around the world to do what they can eliminate violence against women and girls.
Nottinghamshire Police has taken a national lead in its approach to this issue and uses a number of methods to safeguard women from harm – particularly in cases where criminal charges are not brought.
- Clare’s Law (Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme), which gives victims and or people connected to them the ‘right to ask’ police for a disclosure about their partner. In some cases Nottinghamshire Police may proactively approach women where concerns exist about their partner. Nottinghamshire Police was the first force in the country to introduce mandatory consideration or right to know legislation in all cases of domestic assault
- Domestic Violence Protection Orders – civil court orders that can be granted within 48 hours of an officer issuing a temporary Domestic Violence Protection Notice.
- Non Molestation Orders – civil court orders that place restrictions on perpetrators, including not contacting or visiting their victims. Victims are supported by advocacy groups to apply for these
- Evidence Led Prosecutions, where charges can be brought even when victims are not able to give a statement or go to court.
- Stalking Prevention Orders – civil court orders that allow police to intervene early before cases have gone to court and / or behaviours escalate. Nineteen such orders are currently in place and the force was recently praised by the Home Office for its work in this area
Detective Inspector Dan Evans, force lead for domestic abuse at Nottinghamshire Police, said: “When cases of domestic abuse are reported to us our main priority is always the safety and the welfare of the victim.
“We will do everything we can to investigate what’s happened to them and do all we can to bring a perpetrator to justice. But we are also thinking from minute one about what else we can do the help safeguard that victim and protect them from future harm.
“In the last 20 years or so policing has come a very long way in this regard and there are lot of options open to us even in cases where we are not able to arrest or charge people
“All we need is for people to come forward to us to tell us what is happening – either the victim themselves or their friends, neighbours and family members.
“I understand that can be a big step for people to take and I also know that some people will always be reluctant to involve the police – often because they don’t believe we will be able to help.
“I want to make it clear to those people that we stand ready not only to investigate the things that have happened or are happening to them – but also to explore every available option available to us to help keep them safe.”