Baroness Newlove (the former Victim’s commissioner) gave a speech in the House of Lords earlier this summer focusing on domestic violence. She highlighted the British Crime Survey results indicating ‘2 million people were victims of domestic abuse, with women twice as likely to be victims as men’. Her speech further focused upon the estimated annual cost of domestic abuse citing £66 billion, ‘with an average cost for a victim of being over £34,000.’ Her speech then moved onto unconditional police bail and how this practice leads to an increased risk for victims. She concluded by calling for more funding for domestic violence services which she describes as ‘threadbare’. She believes part of the focus should be funding professionally trained workers who are then able to protect vulnerable victims more successfully.
Baroness Armstrong responded to her speech by further highlighting that many victims have complex needs such as addiction, homelessness and mental health problems due to a lifelong experiences of abuse, neglect and violence. She calls for an improvement and understanding of how to work with these victims. Feedback from victims of domestic violence gave a strong message that the first front line workers victims speak to must recognise abuse and trauma.
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