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source: The Justice Gap
published: 21 May 2021
A culture of domestic violence within the police is perpetuated by cover-ups and wilful ignorance, according to a new report by Channel 4. At least 129 women have approached the Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) since 2019 with claims of being raped, beaten, and coerced by their police officer partners.
One survivor, ‘Stacy’, reports being trapped in an abusive relationship with her police officer partner for almost 20 years. After gathering the courage to report the ongoing abuse of herself and her children, she went to the Child Protection Unit of her partner’s police force. ‘They were all of his mates’, she says. ‘It’s a boy’s club. Police are supposed to be there to be trusted and they’re not. I can’t trust them’. Her case has now been closed.
Other survivors interviewed by Channel 4 reported failures by senior officers to investigate those within their ranks, and flagrant abuses of power and status to conceal wrongdoings.
Describing domestic abuse within the police as an ‘epidemic’, former Scotland Yard Deputy Police Commissioner David Gilbertson said: ‘It is about men in authority exercising power over women and it is about failure of leadership on an epic scale in policing’. ‘I know of cases where officers who were attached to Domestic Violence Units actively searched out vulnerable women for sexual gratification and in order to gain access to their children for sexual purposes’.