Claire Seymour's pledges for the future of Dorset: #3

Tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence

I will take action, offering intervention, prevention, support and strong partnership work to tackle all forms of domestic abuse, including stalking, coercive control, and sexual violence.

It is time to step in and step up in the conversation and action against domestic abuse and sexual violence for this generation and the next. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, and two women a week are being murdered. 1 in 5 children witness or are exposed to this crime during childhood. These figures have not changed in over a decade.

If elected I will:

  • Work with partners to increase awareness campaigns and support initiatives which are appropriate to age, focusing on healthy relationships and perpetrator intervention programmes (for more info see Stars, The Shores, The Drive Programme, Stalking Panel).
  • Work with all partners, businesses, education settings and the public to highlight the strands of abuse, how to spot them and how to report it, highlighting that a single report could change or save a person’s life, and change a young persons childhood (for more info see Operation Encompass, ACEs, Shine, The Freedom Programme).
  • Work with local businesses to put in place guidance, awareness and support plans for employees impacted by this crime, to ensure there’s minimal disruption to a persons employment contract when there’s abuse at home (for more info
  • Work with the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Victims Commissioner, Criminal Justice System, Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance, Refuge and national agencies to ensure Dorset is at the forefront of national change. Also, 40% of survivors do not have access to adequate legal aid. I would lobby Government for enhanced training throughout the criminal justice system and increase access to legal aid for all victims and survivors.
  • Work with Dorset Police for enhanced training or all staff, officers and volunteers in this area, and increase on-the-ground knowledge of national and local agencies that can support them in their critical role. Officers must be trained to a high standard to understand and be aware of powers available to them such as Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPN) and subsequently apply to the Magistrates’ Court for Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO) and Stalking Protection Orders (this list is not exhaustive).
  • The Government estimates show that still only 17% of those subjected to sexual violence choose to report it to the police. I would influence policy in this area to tackle this high impact crime, to ensure there is sustained and substantial funding for specialist services for victims and survivors – and importantly, prevention and intervention programmes with a strong response by those who commit such crimes.

Claire's other pledges

Engaging to ensure wellbeing and protection of police officers, staff and police volunteers

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Tackling Abuse

To protect the most vulnerable, support victims, and take action to prevent and stand up against all forms of domestic abuse, sexual violence and hate crime.

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Prevention and Early Intervention

Commitment to family and community based work focusing on empowering communities and investment in targeted youth interventions.

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Strong Partnership Working

Working in partnership to make Dorset a place where individuals, families and communities are able to live safe from crime, disorder and harm.

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