Specialist Domestic Violence Courts Project

Working together with Midland Chase Region, ladies from our clubs are undertaking an independent survey on Specialist Domestic Violence Courts. In 2006 Specialist Domestic Violence Courts were set up around the country and the role of Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (a professional supporter for every complainant) was created. Over a decade later cuts to police, CPS and Courts caused us to worry that these specialist courts have been depleted. Nobody watches courts and there is no “OFSTED”. The first survey was carried out by clubs in the Newcastle area with the help of Dame Vera Baird, Victims Commissioner ( also a Soroptimist). They made 13 recommendations and the local victims hub is leading a multi-agency task force to take action. Those taking part have all attended a two hour workshop to help us understand the court process and to learn about the observations that need to be made. We have obtained judicial consent to attend sessions at the courts in Birmingham Redditch and Hereford. Two ladies attend each session and complete the survey which is then added to a database. The survey runs from Jan 6th 2020 to March 6th 2020 following which the police will analyse the data and make our own recommendations.