It came as no surprise to me to read in the local and national newspapers that my local Police force are one of 27 forces failing to deal adequately with Domestic Abuse cases and victims. Indeed, on the same day it was also reported that
‘A Police officer has been sacked for failing to carry out an “adequate” investigation into a domestic violence case.’ Nottingham Post, 15th December 2015.
During the course of my campaigning, I have met with various senior Police Offices to discuss their approach to Domestic Abuse. While we have had positive exchanges, all have advised me that the local DV policy is directed by the local Police & Crime Commissioner.
Nottinghamshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner is Paddy Tipping. Prior to being elected to this post in 2012, Mr Tipping served as the Sherwood constituency Member of Parliament from 1992 to 2010 when he decided to stand down due to ill health. Paddy Tipping had also been caught up in the MP expenses scandal and in 2009, paid back more than £ 14,000 which had been claimed in mortgage interests payments on his London flat. The original claim was approved by the Fees Office and in accordance with Parliamentary rules.
To approach Mr Tipping, I had to go through his PA Amy Evans. Amy Evans made the headlines herself in May 2015 when she admitted accessing police records for personal use, as suspended and fined £ 2,900.
When I’d established contact with Mr Tipping, he advised me that if I wished to discuss Domestic Violence policy, I would need to speak the Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner as she’d been delegated the DV portfolio.
While the Commissioner’s post was an elected one, the position of his deputy was one by appointment. Following Mr Tipping’s election, on his first day in ‘office’ 22nd November 2012 he duly named Chris Cutland, Executive Director of Women’s Aid Integrated Services in Nottingham as his Deputy.
I did meet with Chris Cutland who did advise me of all services on offer to DV victims and went out of her way to highlight to me the meagre services to male victims fully admitting to me that her priority was females. Because of her background I found this as no real surprise.
Domestic Abuse policy in Nottinghamshire is heavily influenced by Women’s Aid and hereby lays the problem. I suspect that this is also the case for the other 26 Police forces found falling short.
Rather than approach Domestic Abuse from a Gender Neuter viewpoint, Women’s Aid maintain a Gender Specific philosophy built around the academically-discredited Duluth model. The Duluth model insists that men are perpetrators because they are exercising societal learnt power and control while women are only violent in self-defence. Any serious student of human nature knows that this is not true within itself. However, this fraudulent model has financed a multi-million industry ( of which Womens Aid has benefitted ) and is the basis for all inadequate services.
In order for any genuine progress the Duluth model needs to be assigned to the dustbin and a new understanding based on the academic studies now appearing that clearly prove that domestic abuse is not about patriarchal power and control. Domestic abuse is about people of all sexualities and gender being violent to other people.
If the person responsible for establishing local policy on Domestic Abuse is an appointment by an elected official, it’s little wonder that services for victims are so poor.