Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (DPCC), Sue Arnold is calling for an end to the insensitive and unfair practice of charging victims of domestic abuse money to receive a medical letter to prove they have been abused.
Mrs Arnold said:
“It is insulting to these victims that they are being charged up to £300 to receive a letter to prove that they have been a victim of this crime.
“People experiencing domestic abuse should be offered support to help remove them from their situation not be presented with obstacles to make leaving even more difficult.
“These victims and their families go through a terrible and often prolonged ordeal which can affect them for the rest of their lives. “Victims face many practical and emotional obstacles when leaving an abusive relationship. These can vary from housing problems, childcare and money issues but many victims
suffer in silence for a long time before talking to anyone about what they are going through.
“I would urge the Secretary of State for Health to review this callous practice.”
Making sure that different organisations across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent work together to provide better services which are cost effective has been a priority of Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire, Matthew Ellis’ since he came into office in 2013.
As part of this priority a workplace-based initiative was set up in 2015 by DPCC Sue Arnold to offer better support for victims of domestic abuse. Organisations who sign-up to the programme – at no cost to themselves – commit to taking steps to support staff in abusive relationships and make sure victims are aware that help is available.
In Staffordshire domestic abuse has risen by 18% with over 13,000 crimes reported over the last 12 months.
You can find out more at www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/domestic-abuse/