By 2020 Tricia Thomas
Yesterday I attended a virtual training session on Domestic Violence for magistrates hosted by Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service who work closely with
Research shows that there are strong links between coercive and violent behaviour and offending. Data shows 60% of women in the criminal Justice system have suffered from domestic abuse. But in reality, this is thought to be more like 80 to 90%, and very often it’s a vicious circle – literally.
Domestic Violence -> Offending behaviour -> Time in the criminal justice system -> Lack of support on the outside -> Vulnerability to abuse -> REPEAT
The Soteria Project, funded by Comic Relief, is operating throughout the West Mercia area including Herefordshire, with the objective to change the outcome of women who are victims of domestic abuse and who have ended up in the criminal justice system.
Soteria Project priority is to ensure that the link between domestic abuse and offending is understood by the decision makers who write reports, assess for sentencing, support through custody and prepare for release by providing training and professional advice. The project workers also provide support for women trapped in the ‘revolving door ‘ ensuring services are accessible for individuals to make positive and long term choices for their future.