Rachel Williams, an ambassador for Welsh and Llanelli Women’s Aid, has joined the #TroubleWithAnEx campaign to educate potential victims and their families about how to identify stalking behaviour and how to get suitable help.
Run by the Network for Surviving Stalking charity and joined by Gwent Police, Rachel Williams has become an advocate for #TroubleWithAnEx, with an aim of increasing the knowledge and recognition of signs of an abusive relationship.
Doing work to largely support and help victims, the campaign runs a film which features the story of Rachel Williams. She is a survivor of 18 years of domestic abuse. She was shot by her estranged husband whilst at work and her 16 year old son then took his life six weeks later.
In conjunction with this the Home Office has devised a strategy for ‘Ending Violence against Women and Girls’. Armed with an £80 million budget allocated to the initiative over the next four years (2016/2020), they have devised a new strategy so that ‘No woman/ girl should live in fear’. This strategy largely focuses on the prevention and intervention of domestic abuse before it occurs.
The budget has also allowed for increased support to victims, whether it is before, after, or during an incident of domestic abuse. Technologies have been devised which will aid in providing this support. For example, technologies can offer support during a case, doing so by helping victims in maintaining contact with key workers to ensure they know all the case developments. Therefore it offers a secure online system to share information with victims.
Offering greater protections to victims, tools are being created to prevent further offences from happening. The Home Office is supporting the trialling of GPS proximity tracking technology. Simply put, violent partners who have been convicted of domestic abuse are fitted with GPS tracking devices to alert victims when they are nearby (currently being piloted by Northumbria Police). Exclusion zones are set up around a victim’s home, places of work and social places. When the perpetrator enters these zones an alert is sent to a victim, allowing them time to avoid conflict and reducing the reoffending rates.
If even one of these schemes was in place when Rachel Williams suffered her domestic abuse it could have been prevented, and this applies to many others likewise. These technologies and strategies are key in the intervention and prevention of domestic abuse rather than victims reaching crisis point.