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Christian domestic abuse worker says 'overwhelmed' police need correct training

by Hannah Tooley

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary said there had been a "staggering" 31% rise in reporting of the crime and added that forces were on the verge of being "overwhelmed".

Natalie Collins, Gender Justice Specialist at Christian charity Spark told Premier's News Hour:"How many people would be willing to step up and not just be a passive bystander if they see abuse, how many people if they see somebody in their family says to them 'what's going on in your relationship?' and says 'oh you just need to forgive...' so it's about all of us taking responsibility for abuse in society."

She works at charity that equips churches to prevent abuse against women, and told Premier's News Hour that it is positive that alleged victims are speaking up: "I think everybody psychologically would be uncomfortable with labeling them self as a victim so I think that in some ways it's in a positive step when as a society we've moved to the point where people are moving to the point where they can call the police and say they need help."

The report highlighted concerns that a large number of victims felt that responding officers did not always understand the dynamics of domestic abuse.

Natalie Collins said that it is key that all officers are trained to deal with situations: "First-responders who're going out have had minimal domestic violence training and so I think we need to be ensuring that across the board, whether it's specialist units or individual officers that every single officer has a really, really good understanding of abuse."

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speak to Natalie Collins here:

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