Letter to the Editor: First of all I would like to thank and commend Cambrian News for its continued reporting of domestic abuse in the Gwynedd area these past few months (Kick domestic abuse into touch, Cambrian News, 30 November).
As someone who has worked in this field for many years I can tell you that every little thing helps and counts. You are carrying out a sterling job in keeping the focus on cases like this and I hope your coverage continues.
I do, however, understand the worryingly high statistics and fear they will continue to rise unless changes in two key areas are made.
Firstly, the police have an approach to these cases which places far too much emphasis on the victim. Victims are far too often afraid to even speak about abuse, let alone phone the police or pack a bag and leave.
To people unfamiliar with abuse, coercive control in particular, they can’t understand why people simply ‘don’t leave’ or report these issues, even to family and friends. It is not that easy for victims of any form of abuse.
The idea of contacting the police is the farthest thing from their mind. This is because the police will not act unless directed by the victim.
If the police do decide to become involved they can make matters worse if the victim falters and decides they don’t want to report the abuse. They hand themselves up to their abuser, who now knows they’ve been talking, on a platter.
Secondly, there is little to no consequences for the abuser. Think about the message that sends for a second. That you can abuse another human being, with complete disregard and absolutely nothing will happen to you.
I personally know of several individuals in the Dolgellau area alone who abused women for years and they haven’t even had a stern talking to.
The message these abusers receive is that they can abuse, again and again with absolutely no accountability for their repulsive, cowardly actions.
I cannot sing the praises highly enough of organisation like Live Fear Free, who I worked closely with last year to help free an individual of horrifying domestic abuse and of news organisations like yourselves who help to spread the word and help individuals, little by little, understand that there is a way out and a better way of life.
Please keep up this good work and be very proud of yourselves.