Introduction: Domestic Violence (03:14)
Sussex police respond to more than 2,500 domestic disturbance calls a year; most do not reach the courts. Statistically, women are more in danger of a violent attack at home than in the street.
Domestic Abuse Unit (02:59)
Response officers only deal with the immediate incident; their workload does not allow time for follow-up. The unit in Brighton offers a second point of contact for victims and monitors repeat callouts; one in five domestic abuse instances is reported.
Cycle of Abuse (04:15)
Domestic abuse usually comes to the attention of the police after it becomes physical; the cycle generally starts with verbal threats. Police respond to a hostage situation at an address they have been to previously.
Decision to Leave (03:13)
There is no sign of hostages inside the flat. Police locate the suspect’s wife and child and bring them to the station. This incident prompts the victim to leave her abuser, who is released without charge; she returns a few weeks later.
Operation Bracelet (03:49)
Brighton police run an extra car dedicated to domestic violence to increase arrest and detection rates. Operation Bracelet will run for a trial period, allowing officers to immediately respond to incidents.
Impact on Children (02:06)
Many domestic violence incidents are witnessed children, causing long-term psychological effects and imprinting dysfunctional behavior. One abuse victim says her son went from trying to protect her to copying his father’s abusive behavior.
Successful Prosecutions (05:32)
The reluctance of victims to prosecute means few abusers appear in court. Caroline recalls pressing charges and her traumatic court appearances; her abuser was acquitted. Less than 3% of incidents reported to the police result in successful prosecutions.
Domestic Violence Policy (02:59)
The head of the new anti-victimization unit is responsible for implementing a policy across the division. Police are advised to take initiative to investigate and arrest offenders, regardless of victims’ wishes.
Credits: Brighton Bill: Domestic Violence (00:37)
Credits: Brighton Bill: Domestic Violence
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