A Nottinghamshire Police chief has called on women to use their skills to help protect female victims of crime.
Chris Cutland Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner said Women in Nottinghamshire can ‘make things happen for the better’ by recognising and then using their skills.
Speaking at an all-day drop-in event in Arnold marking International Women’s Day, she highlighted numerous recent advances in the protection and support of female victims of crimes, including domestic and sexual violence.
“Making things happen is about getting the passion to make a difference – whether the issues are local or global,” she said. “It’s about recognising our own skills and those of others, then finding ways to challenge and achieve change.”
The Deputy Commissioner was describing her work as a champion of victims at the Make It Happen event in Gedling Borough Council’s Civic Centre. A range of organisations offered information, advice and support on topics ranging from health, training and employment to parenting, crime reduction and benefits.
A staunch supporter of victims and campaigner against domestic violence for many years, Ms Cutland has been able to ‘make things happen’ even more since Commissioner Paddy Tipping appointed her as his Deputy in 2012. Since then she has worked tirelessly with partners, researchers and funders to bring about greater support for victims along with a better understanding of the issues involved.
Her efforts, together with those of the Commissioner, have put domestic and sexual violence high on the agenda and achieved a more victim-focused approach.
She has led on the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s promotion of the Victim Code and also on encouraging the police service to embed better practices when responding to victims.
Other achievements in Nottinghamshire include the funding of work with teenage survivors of domestic violence, and funding and supporting groups working with FGM, honour-based violence, child survivors of domestic abuse and counselling for survivors.
Ms Cutland is working closely with Commissioner Tipping on issues surrounding hate crime, including the link between hate crime and crimes against women.
“Achieving greater support and protection for women starts with listening to survivors and to service providers,” she maintained.
“I have also found that making things happen involves knowing what happens in other parts of the country and in the wider world. This knowledge, and the determination to learn from others’ experiences and evaluate what works and what doesn’t, is the key to supporting victims successfully.
“In my experience, it’s more important to talk to those at the sharp end and learn from them rather than try to reinvent the wheel,” she concluded.
Councillor Roxanne Ellis, who organised the event, commented: “As a society we often seem to relegate women’s issues to the back burner.
International Women’s Day is an opportunity for women to come together, celebrate our successes and inspire each other to achieve more,” she said.