Domestic abuse survivors share their stories with Bedfordshire Police
- Credit: Joe Giddens/PA
Domestic abuse, assault and rape victims are sharing their experiences of male violence for a new Bedfordshire Police blog.
The county's police force has launched the blog series to share real-life stories, and prompt victims, friends and relatives to look out for signs that they or someone else are being abused.
Detective Chief Superintendent Dee Perkins, of Bedfordshire Police, said the MVAWG Voices blog is part of the force's work to make the county a safer place for women and girls.
DCS Perkins said: "We are working to create a safer environment for women and girls across Bedfordshire, and as part of that work we are creating a safe space for women’s voices to be heard.
"As these survivors bravely speak out, we must all do more to challenge these attitudes and behaviour, and we are working on a number of different project across the county to eradicate them.
"Bedfordshire Police has a significant focus on targeting perpetrators, and we will be looking to hold people engaging in this abhorrent behaviour accountable and take police action where we can.
"We are working with a number of partners, and are committed to earning the public’s trust that we understand these issues and are committed to getting our response right."
The first blog post in the series features a woman who met her ex-partner when she was aged 18.
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When she became pregnant a short time later, he became violent - convincing her to get rid of her car, taking her bank card away, and hitting her so hard she fell unconscious.
After several years, the victim found help from family and colleagues when they spotted signs of abuse.
The blog post reads: "A survivor has shared her story of domestic abuse, coercive control and fear.
"She has shared to highlight the importance of looking out for the people around you.
"By checking in and asking questions, you could give someone the confidence they need to take the next steps."
The survivor said: "By sharing my story, I hope I can give at least one person the confidence to come forward.
"The journey isn’t easy, but you will be believed and there is support available."
A Bedfordshire Police spokesperson said they are committed to supporting all survivors of abuse, no matter their gender.
They said the campaign is targeted towards women and girls because they are disproportionately affected by male violence.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the latest data shows 73 per cent of domestic abuse survivors were women in the year ending March 2021.
The spokesperson said survivors keen to share their stories can do so by emailing email@example.com
The blog is published online (https://bit.ly/3zXVM2T).
They added victims who would like support can contact the Emerald Centre (https://www.emeraldcentre.org/) or the police on 101.