Police and crime commissioner calls for better protection for domestic abuse victims

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright.
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright.

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright, is calling on the government to introduce specific legislation aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence.

Doncaster is a regional hot-spot for domestic violence, with an average of 28 incidents taking place every day.

Deputy Police and Crime Commisioner Tracey Cheetham says protecting the most vulnerable is one of the top priorities for South Yorkshire Police.

Tracey recently met with Eve Thomas - a survivor of domestic abuse and the driving force behind the specific legislation Shaun Wright is calling for, dubbed ‘Eve’s Law’.

Eve escaped a violent and abusive relationship following which, her former partner was convicted of battery and subjected to legal restrictions, preventing him from contacting her; an order he breached on several occasions.

Whilst defending an unrelated civil issue in court, Eve discovered a dangerous legal loophole that would allow her safe-house address to be made publicly available to her former partner – the perpetrator who had threatened her life and from whom she had escaped.

“It is vital that victims of domestic abuse are protected,” said Tracey. “It is utterly inconceivable for a court to have to publicly release a victim’s safe-house address and put them at risk of further abuse. The Justice System should protect victims, not endanger them.

“I have met so many victims over the past year, including Eve, and have been shocked at what some of them have endured. I have also been amazed at the bravery and strength they demonstrate in moving on with their lives.

“South Yorkshire Police are working hard to help victims and the Commissioner is supporting this with a £5million investment in Public Protection Units, where Officers work with some of the most vulnerable victims of crime.

“I am convinced that Eve’s Law is just one step that we must take to ensure that victims of domestic violence are helped and supported in moving on and living without constant fear.”

Shaun Wright has also written to other PCCs, urging them to join the campaign.

Eve Thomas said, “I am very pleased to have the backing of Shaun Wright, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and his Deputy, Tracey Cheetham; I hope other PCCs will join them in supporting the campaign.”