Domestic Abuse doesn’t always sit neatly within the criminal justice system. Evidencing domestic abuse can be very hard, particularly coercive control and psychological abuse as the behaviours are often incredibly subjective, personal to that person and difficult to prove as an ongoing course of conduct that someone is engaging in.
As a DVPO (Domestic Violence Protection Order) Caseworker, I used to work very closely with the NCDV in obtaining longer term protection for victims of domestic abuse through civil court rather than criminal court. The threshold is lower in civil court to obtain some protection and based on ‘the balance of probabilities’ rather than ‘without reasonable doubt’ that we need to see in criminal court. It means that the Judge can take the victim’s statement much more into account when issuing an order to protect them.
Accessing legal aid to support an application can be problematic, but you can rest assured that the dedicated team at NCDV will do everything they can to work with that victim to get the best protection possible around them. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Sharon at NCDV for some considerable time now and her dedication to supporting victims of domestic abuse is incredible along with having her own very powerful story of surviving through it.
Sharon says ‘The NCDV are delighted to be working in partnership with Alpha Vesta. I am the Head of Partnerships & Development at NCDV and have worked in the domestic abuse sector for 24 years. I am also a survivor of domestic abuse. I have worked locally, regionally and nationally in many different roles and have met hundreds of inspiring people along the way, but very few are as inspiring and committed as Lucy Whittaker – founder and CEO of Alpha Vesta’.
Sharon goes on to talk about the important role that the NCDV have in ‘breaking the cycle of domestic abuse. ‘The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) is a free, fast emergency injunction service for survivors and victims of domestic abuse and violence regardless of their financial circumstances, race, gender or sexual orientation. We have never charged anyone that has been referred to NCDV and we never will. Safety should not have a cost attached! Our mission at NCDV is to make domestic abuse, in all its forms, socially unacceptable’.
We are keen to support the NCDV in their new initiative around placing awareness stickers in key public areas across workplaces and communities. They could be placed on the back of toilet doors or anywhere where members of the public or employees can see them. They will be placed in Alpha Vesta Employer Packs and can also be requested, free of charge, from the following link www.ncdv.org.uk/sticker-requests/