Lancaster woman ‘thrown around like rag doll’ by former partner calls for better police training on domestic abuse

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A Lancaster woman who was “thrown around her kitchen like a rag doll” by her former partner says she feels let down by Lancashire Police and the legal system.

The 41-year-old woman, who did not wish to be named, said her former partner became gradually more aggressive and violent after he moved in with her in June 2017.

Then in January 2018, she says she contacted police after he assaulted her, but later panicked and claimed it was her own fault.

She says she was not informed about Clare’s Law - a scheme to let people find out from police if their partner has a history of domestic violence - and that mistakes were made by officers dealing with her case.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme was rolled out across England and Wales in 2014, and police have had discretion on whether to provide information.

But plans announced this week as part of the government’s new draft Domestic Abuse Bill will give anyone a legal right to check out a potential partner.

The woman, who spoke exclusively to the Lancaster Guardian, said: “We had been on and off until he moved in with me June 2017 and then he became gradually more aggressive, abusive and violent.

“I didn’t ring the police on any of the previous occasions, including when he bust my nose, as I didn’t think they would take me seriously.

“Unfortunately you don’t choose who you love and I did love him or the person I thought he was.”

Things came to a head between the couple in January 2018.

“On the night of the assault I tried to stop the police from coming, I panicked and said it was my fault but it wasn’t.

“I was distraught, the man I loved had thrown me round my kitchen like a rag doll, resulting in serious bruising and tried to strangle me moments before my daughter came home.

“Unfortunately the police believed me when I said it was my fault, despite this being a common thing in domestic abuse, and treated the situation as such.

“This is why I believe they need better training and understanding of domestic abuse.”

She added: “I feel really let down by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). If things had been done properly on January 29 2018 then it would have been resolved by now.

“The stress of this is affecting my health badly and I have fibromyalgia and heart problems. I am also concerned that this is happening to other victims or survivors of domestic abuse. The failings here go beyond an individual police officer.

“It is a widespread issue going as far as the CPS and legal system too.”

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “Lancashire Constabulary treats all reports of domestic abuse as a priority and we are committed to tackling all incidents of this nature in a positive way.

“Officers and staff at Lancashire Constabulary are trained to deal with all reports of domestic abuse in the most appropriate manner.

“During this investigation the complainant was spoken to by police and declined to provide an initial statement. Safeguarding advice was given.

“The complainant later provided a statement to police but following investigation, insufficient evidence was found to bring any charges.

“We would stress to any domestic abuse victim – if you are being abused or have recently escaped an abusive relationship, you are not alone.

“You may feel as though you are the only one to have experienced this sort of abuse, but this is not the case. It is okay to be frightened, confused and hurt.

“Please don’t suffer in silence – let someone know.”

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, call police on 101.

In an emergency, call 999.