Bedfordshire Police launch series of blogs to empower survivors of domestic violence and male abuse

Bedfordshire Police have launched a series of real life blogs to allow victims of domestic violence, rape and assault to speak out about male violence.

MVAWG (Male Violence Against Women and Girls) blogs raise awareness of the impact of male violence on people’s lives.

In the first blog, a policewoman talks about the physical and psychological violence she suffered from her ex-partner.

She said: “By sharing my story I hope I can give at least one person the confidence to come forward. The journey is not easy, but you will be believed and support is available.

Detective Chief Superintendent Dee Perkins, Force Leader for the MVAWG, said: “We are working to create a safer environment for women and girls across Bedfordshire. As part of this work, we create a safe space for women’s voices to be heard.

“As these survivors bravely speak out, we all need to do more to challenge these attitudes and behaviors, and we are working on a number of different projects across the county to eradicate them.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Perkins said there was a “significant focus on targeting perpetrators” and that they would “hold accountable those engaging in this heinous behavior and take law enforcement action where we can”.

She said the police were working with multiple partners and were “committed to responding well” and “earning the public’s trust”.

Crimes such as rape and sexual offences, stalking and domestic violence affect women disproportionately. The police encourage people to come forward and talk about these issues to solve the problem.

In May, Bedfordshire Police released a video in which survivors shared their experiences of harassment, sexual assault and domestic abuse.

They also highlighted everyday issues such as chat calls and misogyny.

The force plans to continue using real-life stories to encourage people to talk about their own challenges. They also hope it will encourage everyone to speak out against unacceptable behavior.

Project Firefly was launched in May to ensure women no longer face unacceptable behavior in places like pubs and clubs. The project includes:

  • specialized training for licensed agents and premises
  • increased police presence
  • a social media campaign to challenge perpetrators

Last week training was provided in Bedford as part of the Pub Watch Scheme. This focused on spotting suspicious behavior and supporting someone in need.

The campaign focuses on male violence against women and girls, but Bedfordshire Police remain committed to tackling all forms of abuse.

They support victims of all genders and hold all perpetrators to account.

They seek to support other survivors who feel confident to come forward and tell their story. Anyone interested should contact the Bedfordshire Police Corporate Communications team.

All stories will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and participants may be anonymized.

To find out more about Project Firefly and the force’s wider response to the MVAWG, visit the Bedfordshire Police website.

Reports can be made to the police on 101 or via the online reporting tool.

In an emergency, always call 999.

Victim assistance can also be contacted for free and confidential support, whether the crime has been reported or not.

The Bedfordshire Sexual Assault Referral Center (SARC) can be contacted by emailing [email protected] or calling 01234 897052.

They offer free support and practical help to anyone in Bedfordshire and Luton who has experienced sexual violence and/or sexual abuse.

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