Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Local Activist Brooks-Gordon Speaks Up For Domestic Violence Victims

University lecturer and former Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Belinda Brooks-Gordon has spoken out about the need for early intervention to protect the victims of domestic violence.

Belinda, who lectures in Forensic Psychology at London’s Birbeck College, told the Liberal Democrat’s autumn conference in Glasgow that work should be carried out in the community to offer better protection.

She was speaking in favour of a motion which recognised the need for investment in domestic and sexual violence services so that trained professionals can work with victims ‘on the ground’.

Belinda has carried out scientific studies into how to deal with sexual and violent behaviour with a view to changing it. Through her work with prison psychologists,she has knowledge of the violence that takes place in homes across the country.

She condemned Labour’s early prison release schemes which allowed violent men back onto the streets without their wife or partner being aware of the release and giving them no time to take out an injunction to prevent contact.

“Most women with violent men do not want to see them locked up,” she told delegates. “They don’t want their children to have to see daddy in prison, for him to lose his job, and sometimes their home. What these victims want is for the hitting to stop and for him to deal with his anger, stop drinking, or whatever the trigger is.

“These are things that can be done in the community, with the right support, and can result in a happier, safer, and even cheaper outcome.”

She added that, while a county councillor, she pushed for more investment in domestic violence services and prevention for Cambridgeshire. This included allocating money to provide programmes run by trained parent support advisors to work with schools to help children affected by domestic violence.

Six targeted programmes were launched for the main county hotspots costing a total of £18,000 a year.

“These are very small amounts of money for a vital social return,” she said.