Half of women are “not confident” police will properly investigate allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Half of women are not confident police will properly investigate allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence, a new study has found.

The report, led by Victim Support, exclusively shared with The Independentdiscovered that 54 percent of women do not trust the police to properly investigate their domestic violence reports, while 50 percent said the same in sex crime cases.

Overall, around four in ten women who have been victims of a crime in the last two years said they felt let down by the police investigation into their case.

Researchers from YouGov surveyed just over 12,500 British adults at the end of January – with women making up around half of the respondents. About 1,756 adults reported being a victim of a crime in the past two years – 951 men and 805 women.

Violence against women and girls has garnered increasing attention since Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive living in south London, was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 2021 while serving Metropolitan Police Officer Wayne Couzens.

The police have faced ongoing criticism amid a series of other scandals involving officers for failing to address violence against women within their own ranks.

While David Carrick, a serial rapist and police officer who is one of the worst sex offenders in modern history, was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison last month.

Jo*, a domestic violence survivor, said she was badly abandoned by police when she reported her partner’s violence at the age of 18.

This meant she found it difficult to trust the police when years later she suffered domestic violence again.

Jo, from London, added: “The first time they didn’t take me seriously at all – they judged me for the fact that I was a young mother, they judged me for the fact that I was a care leaver.

“They said to me, ‘You’re 18 years old, you should know better. He’s not the father of your child, so why should you get involved with him?’ They told me to make better choices.”

Jo said cops wanted to ask her if the domestic abuse was one-sided as she explained they had chosen not to prosecute her partner.

“They kept saying to me, ‘So you didn’t do anything to him, you didn’t take revenge?'” she recalled.

While years later Jo did not seek assistance from the police when she suffered domestic violence from another partner, she eventually called the police when the violence eventually put her life in danger.

She added: “When they issued an arrest warrant for him I was not notified so they put me in danger without realizing it.

“I was still in my property, I was still in communication with him, he still had access to my phone, and they just keep plowing on and doing things without asking me. They let people down again and again. I wish I had never reached out.”

Valerie Wise, National Director of Domestic Violence at Victim Support, said: “Lack of trust in the police is a very real problem for the women we support. It’s not a new problem, but it has undoubtedly worsened after so many horrific stories of abuse by serving police officers.

“The problem is twofold – women keep being told things are going to change, but they are just faced with more stories of abuse. Those who actually report are too often left in the lurch, not taken seriously and not listened to.”

Ms Wise argued that there needed to be a tangible change for women’s trust and belief in policing to be restored.

“It means a radical overhaul of police culture,” she added. “It actually means eradicating misogyny, believing women and having independent oversight and control over the police. It’s also important that women who are brave enough to come forward have independent support.”

*Jo’s name has been changed to protect her identity

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/women-police-sexual-violence-crimes-b2299751.html Half of women are “not confident” police will properly investigate allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence.


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