Victims of domestic abuse have no faith in the system, writes Sam Billingham
Admitting to yourself that the person you love, and the person who claims to love you, abuses you, so when a victim of domestic abuse finds the strength and courage to dial 999, they are saying they can't take any more and more importantly need you to help them stay safe.
It has recently come to light that 700 women reported abuse at the hands of police staff in 3 years leading up to April last year.
Police officers are getting away with being abusive and sending out a message that domestic abuse is acceptable. They are committing a crime and getting away with it, endangering thousands of other victims who won't want to report the abuse they are experiencing.
Victims of domestic abuse have no faith in the system and this appalling behaviour has got to stop in order to give encouragement to victims to speak out and confidentially report this crime.
If domestic abuse is reported it should be investigated and the perpetrator punished accordingly - and yes, even if that criminal is a police officer - no one is above the law!
Domestic abuse knows no boundaries and there is no job role void of abusers. The abusers carrying out this abuse look like any other and often hide behind their profession and power of trust. Police officers abusing their power over their victims, when in reality they should be protecting all victims of domestic abuse, not condoning it.
It is already very difficult for survivors of domestic abuse to come forward through fear and worry of not being believed.
As a society we must all play a role in changing the culture where domestic abuse is concerned and to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Reports of domestic abuse should be taken seriously with up to date officers - not abusers - trained to fully investigate each incident but why isn't this happening and why is it being allowed to happen?
All police officers should offer a consistent level of support to all victims of domestic abuse and signpost to services based on their personal needs.
2 women each week in England and Wales are killed by a partner of former partner and this "boys club culture" are putting victims in danger.
Victims shouldn't be losing their jobs because their perpetrator is a police officer - they are the victim, why should they be punished?
Protecting the reputation of the police force is disgusting and domestic abuse must be taken seriously for the crime that it is.
If our police cannot keep survivors of domestic abuse safe, then what hope do they really have. Not being believed is one of the biggest barriers a victim of domestic abuse has to face.
It is time to change the attitudes of domestic abuse - it happens because abusers choose to abuse, no one chooses to be abused.
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