A domestic abuse police advocate is a person who works alongside front-line police officers to attend incidents of domestic abuse. They are useful during domestic abuse callouts because initial contact with a trained professional often leads to a better outcome. Victoria shares with us her experiences as a domestic abuse police advocate.
As we’re the initial response, we’re there to give support to the victim when they need it the most. It’s an honour to be let into the lives of the people who we support. It’s a very rewarding role. Especially when you see the transformation that can occur when someone knows that they are truly being listened to.
Working with the police can be very challenging, but in a good way. Sometimes you find yourself offering advice to police officers who you are working with. In this way, when working as a team, you can get the best out of an awful situation. Many times, whilst working with police officers, they have asked me for advice about a case. And that’s when I know that the work we do benefits everyone.
A third party
Having an advocate breaks down the fear that victims have of reprisals from the abuser. Or believing that the abuser’s actions will improve over time. The initial response from someone in the field of domestic abuse helps a victim to understand that certain behaviours are not acceptable. This often leads to a question from the victim:
Am I really in a domestic abuse relationship?
Victoria is a domestic abuse police advocate
Having clarification from an advocate has a hugely positive impact on. The fear that victims show when they realise that the abuser will be arrested can be challenging. Most of the time it’s because they fear what is going to happen next. When the abuser is released, what are the next steps? One of the hardest parts of the job is reassuring victims.
Getting victims to understand that they have done the right thing by reporting the incident is hard. It’s also difficult convincing them that the police are there to safeguard them going forward. Domestic abuse police advocates are there to provide initial support to the victim. If they accept ongoing support, then we complete a referral to the Domestic Abuse Service.
We will always make a follow up call to the victim to check that they are safe. We are thanked by the victim for the support that they have received when they needed it the most. Read what it’s like to spend a day in the life of a domestic abuse police advocate.
If you or someone you know is in need of support, please contact us.
Always call 999 in an emergency.