100,000 return calls for specialized police training to support black women victims of domestic violence

The benchmark for recognizing victims of domestic violence must go from white women only, said the organizer of a petition calling for mandatory training for police supporting black women victims of domestic violence. I.

The petition, which received 100,000 signatures – the amount needed for it to be considered for debate in parliament – lobbies for the creation of the Valérie Law, a mandatory training in cultural skills for officers and military personnel. government agencies in the area of ​​violence against women and girls.

It is named after 45-year-old Valerie Forde, a victim of domestic violence who sought help from the police before being brutally murdered by her ex-partner in 2014.

Roland McKoy, who attacked Ms Forde with a machete and hammer at her home, also killed their 22-month-old daughter, RJ.

Ngozi Fulani, CEO of Sistah Space, an anti-domestic violence charity specializing in supporting black African and Caribbean women and girls, had previously tried to bring the petition to the 100,000 mark.

She said she was pressured to try again following high-profile murders of women.

“I realized that Valerie and her baby are dead and everyone knows Sarah Everard’s name… but no one knows Valerie’s name,” Ms. Fulani said.

Valerie Forde and her daughter, RJ, were murdered by Ms Forde’s ex-partner in 2014 (Photo: Sistah Space)

“Most of the people who signed this petition had never heard of Valérie.”

Ms. Fulani’s daily support for black women and girls affected by domestic violence also motivated her to relaunch the campaign.

She said the majority of the women she worked with were abandoned due to lack of training.

“You can’t do a risk assessment if you don’t understand the risk,” she said.

“We almost certainly have to go to an officer we know because we can’t leave them to a generic officer because it’s a potluck, it’s a gamble.”

She added: “All violence against women and girls [sector] is based on a white perspective, it is the benchmark.

“Valerie’s Law seeks to make it mandatory that if you say you are a service to all women, then you have to understand the basics of women, not just white women.”

While the Valerie Law petition highlights how black women have different bruises and physical signs of abuse often go unrecognized by police, Ms Fulani said the problems go beyond that.

Leah Harvey stars as a victim of domestic violence in the Sistah Space campaign video which features a voiceover from FKA twigs (Photo: Sistah Space)

“There are so many different types of domestic violence. It’s not always physical.

She added that prejudice prevents police and agencies from understanding the danger black women face.

“The unsympathetic way in which the police and some actors in the violence against women and girls sector treat black women is atrocious. They have a prejudice – unconscious or conscious – that we are strong black women … and this forms such an opinion that they are not able to do what they are supposed to do, i.e. give equal support to any victim, because of a state of mind they have.

With no shelters equipped to meet the special needs of black women, Sistah Space has had to pay for hotel stays for women who have been forced to flee their homes due to domestic violence, Ms. Fulani said.

“It is an ongoing trauma for black women to be supported by a system that doesn’t see us, hear us and certainly don’t understand us,” she said.

Ms Fulani hopes to establish a shelter for black women until she is “satisfied” that existing agencies are trained to help black women.

This goal of improving understanding may be within reach now that the petition has passed 100,000 signatures.

Read more

Activists say ‘most-at-risk group of women’ has been excluded from domestic violence bill protections

His recent boost was helped by a host of famous supporters.

FKA Twigs, who filed a lawsuit against actor Shia LaBeouf, accusing him of physical and psychological abuse, voiced the campaign video for Valerie’s Law.

The British singer has also engaged her famous friends to bring the issue to the public attention, with Lewis Hamilton among the latest prominent figures to support the campaign.

Ms Fulani has long been optimistic that the petition will hit its mark, but it was only in recent days that Ms Forde’s family, including her daughter who was on the phone when she was murdered, have had hopes.

Ms Fulani said: “It’s reopened trauma, and they couldn’t dare to hope because you can see in the media and everywhere else nobody is interested in black women and domestic violence. The world doesn’t seem to care, so they never prepare to be hurt or left behind. But in the last two or three days, the family… their faith is restored.

Source link

Comments are closed.