‘The Abused’ – Norfolk Police and Channel 5 Domestic Abuse documentary

18th February 2019

Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins whose Domestic Abuse Bill will be debated by Parliament, has backed a new Channel 5 documentary which looks at domestic abuse and violence and praised the women who took part for their “overwhelming bravery”. The Abused, which will be broadcast on Wednesday 20th February at 9pm is a 90-minute documentary special in the channel’s Modern Britain strand and is a journey inside the lives of two survivors of domestic abuse. It tells the story of two women, Hazel and Kelly, who were attacked in the same week in Norfolk and follows their lives as events unfold in the days after.

Thousands of women across Britain live in fear of their partner. Brutal attacks happen every day and shockingly two women are murdered every week by their current or former partners. With remarkable access to the women themselves, and the inside story of the police investigation as it unfolds, The Abused reveals the heart-breaking reality of life inside a violent relationship. The film is a revealing and disturbing look at the day to day violent abuse that many people are subjected to by their partners. It chronicles the fear that prevents them seeking help, and the long, and terrifying process women endure within an investigation – as they wait to find out if the person they once loved, who has caused them so much fear and pain, will face justice.

In the hope of raising awareness and encouraging other women to speak out, Hazel and Kelly let Channel 5 into their lives as they deal with the immediate aftermath of the attacks and ongoing abuse. Channel 5 will follow the documentary with a 30 minute special called ‘How To Leave An Abusive Relationship Safely’ offering support and helpful advice to anyone affected by the issues raised.

T/Assistant Chief Constable Nick Davison from Norfolk Constabulary said: “Domestic abuse affects victims and families from all walks of life, it is not confined to particular social groups or communities and its impact can be devastating. The courage shown by Hazel and Kelly in allowing their story to be told is inspirational and should act as a lightning rod to all. Domestic abuse is sadly endemic in society. From the latest available information, ending in March 2018 the Office of National Statistics concluded that an estimated 1.9 million adults aged 16 to 59 experienced domestic abuse. Throughout the same year nationally the police recorded 1.1 million domestic abuse-related incidents. In Norfolk alone the police respond to 16,000 calls each year. That’s 43 domestic abuse calls every day.”

“In recent years policing has worked hard to improve its response to domestic abuse and it is a priority for every Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner. That priority can be seen on the front line and the documentary shows Norfolk’s officers and staff working tirelessly to support Hazel and Kelly. Policing alone, however will not solve domestic abuse. An integrated whole system and public health approach is required that focuses on effective interventions and prevention. Such an approach would call for a new style of public campaign which ensures clarity for all agencies in identifying, reporting and responding to abuse.”

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