KEY MESSAGES, 14 March 2017

David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner
· ‘Coercive control is like being trapped in a world of confusion, contradiction and fear.’
· ‘I as the Police and Crime Commissioner, will ensure that victims remain at the centre and resources go where the need is greatest.’

Sarah Newton MP, Home Officer Minister, Under Secretary of State
· The WM Specialist Domestic Abuse Consortium has won some funds from DCLG under the VAWG strategy – It is precisely their approach of bringing Commissioners and Providers together that Government are looking for in addressing domestic abuse.
· Praised the role of Specialist Domestic Abuse Services in bringing about cultural change.
· Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) remains a key priority for the Government.
· By 2020, the Government wants to ensure ‘no woman is turned away’ from services.

Dr Holly Taylor-Dunn, National Centre for the Study & Prevention of Violence & Abuse
· ‘The ethos and values of an organisation is very important in empowering staff to make women and children as safe as they can be and in sustaining the engagement of domestic abuse victims.’

Det Sgt Lydia Mason, Staff Officer to DCC Rolfe, National Police Lead, Domestic Abuse
· Reports of domestic abuse have increased by 37% from 2012-15, with 12% increase between 2015-16. 2015-16 has witnessed the highest charging proportion totalling 69.7%
· ‘Life is beautiful once you are free.’ Lucy Wright, assisted by WM Police 2017.

Maureen Connolly, CEO BSWA on behalf of WM Specialist Domestic Abuse Consortium
· ‘Be brave. Challenge. Open windows for women.’

Twitter: ‘BAME women reporting abuse can often be caught up in the Prevent agenda –
unacceptable’ @pollyn1
Thank you for giving victims a voice’ @zdronfield

Professor Evan Stark
· Women say violence wasn’t the worst part, the worst was the loss of liberty.
· Women and children’s experience of coercive control is far and away the most harmful aspect of abuse.
· Domestic abuse is the most common context for child abuse, above alcohol abuse, mental health, drug abuse etc.
· Abuse of the child is designed to coercively control the mother.
· Long term domestic abuse with frequent and repeat incidents is gendered – with women victims, includes a pattern of coercive control, and affects the lifespan of women and children.
· Domestic abuse can be stopped – 60-80% are repeat cases with chronic offenders – with the right early intervention we could reduce domestic abuse by 70%.
· Open the window, see the whole picture – not just the individual incidents. If an agency asks and has sympathy, women will report domestic abuse.

Judy Foster, Assistant West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner
· ‘It’s important that politicians hear these messages.’
· ‘Equality is key – 86% of tax & benefits cuts have fallen on women, only 14% on men.’

Polly Neate, CEO Women’s Aid Federation England
· ’95-98% of women using specialist domestic abuse services have experienced coercive control.’
· ‘The attitudes of and misunderstanding by professionals mean many women decide never to report again’.

Dr Laura Monk, Practitioner-Researcher-Educator, University of Nottingham
· ‘Abusers can use the same tactics they use against victims, against professionals’
· ‘Abusers target the mother-child relationship and through coercive control, find ways to hurt and control her through her children.’

Twitter: ‘So true, so many rules … use of toilet, the shower, sex, sleeping, eating, TV
watching … every inch of life was controlled.’ @adandelionlife
‘Women left with impossible choices. Stay and suffer or leave and not see the children
again. Imagine having to make this choice!’ @dvsouthbirmingham

For more information about the West Midlands Domestic Abuse Consortium members:
www.bswaid.org / www.sandwellwomensaid.co.uk
www.coventryhaven.co.uk / www.havenrefuge.org.uk