21 Feb 2018

Dyfed-Powys Police officers and staff have been learning more about dealing with domestic abuse, controlling and coercive behaviour and risk identification with the help of Welsh Women’s Aid.

A training day was organised by Goleudy Victim and Witness Service at headquarters, covering a variety of topics. The event was opened by Deputy Chief Constable Darren Davies, before Goleudy manager Nichola Rance gave an introduction about the service provided to victims and witnesses of crime.

Welsh Women’s Aid then took over, giving inputs which will particularly help uniformed officers who respond to low and medium risk domestic abuse-related calls.

The group was taken through key facts and statistics, as well as legislation and definitions – the Home Office definitions of domestic abuse, controlling coercive behaviour, and the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Bill 2015. 

Myths and realities of domestic-related incidents were covered – looking at attitudes and assumptions regarding violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence – as well as an exploration of abusive and coercive behaviour and complexities of the impact on the victim.

An introduction and overview was given of the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and Honour Based Violence (DASH, 2009) Risk Identification and Assessment and Management Model, and the rationale behind the questions listed in the DASH form. This will help officers to understand the reasons they need to ask victims particular questions. The group then undertook a practical and in depth exercise requiring the use of DASH.

The next subject was MARAC – Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference – which is a meeting where agencies talk about the risk of future harm to people experiencing domestic abuse (and if necessary, their children), and draw up an action plan to help manage that risk. The group learned who attends the meeting, the confidentiality statement surrounding the meeting, how to refer someone to MARAC, and dealing with referrals without consent.

Before leaving, attendees were given a list of useful tools and community resources for professionals to assist them in the future.

Goleudy manager Nichola Rance said: “The training day was a huge success, and I’m sure the inputs from Welsh Women’s Aid will prove invaluable in assisting uniformed officers when they attend domestic abuse-related calls in future.

“I would like to thank all those who attended, in particular Welsh Women’s Aid for their support.”