A new Survivor Engagement Coordinator has started work at Gwent Police.
The post is a first of its kind for a police force in Wales and has been created following a recommendation from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office.
It will establish a sustainable survivor engagement framework, through which survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence can share their lived experience.
The role will be based within the Connect Gwent victim’s hub which brings together a range of support services for victims and witnesses to crime, and is the only one of its kind in Wales.
Survivor Engagement Coordinator Elizabeth Lowther said: “My role is to ensure that a victim centred approach is at the heart of Gwent Police’s response to survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence.
“I want victims to know that they can trust us and that together we can improve the services Gwent Police offer to survivors.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent. Jeff Cuthbert, said: “I am delighted to welcome the new Survivor Engagement Coordinator into Gwent Police.
“Elizabeth has a good deal of experience working with victims of sexual violence and this forward thinking post will act as the vital link between survivors and strategic partners, providing them with the opportunities to influence positive change within policies and procedures.
“Supporting all victims of crime is a fundamental priority within my Police and Crime Plan. This new Survivor Engagement Coordinator will help us to ensure that we deliver that in an effective and inclusive way.”
Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said: “Victims are at the heart of everything we do and this new role aims to enhance the service Gwent Police offer to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence. We will continue to work with our partners to evolve our effectiveness in tackling such abuse with an absolute commitment to a victim-centred approach.
“Protecting vulnerable people in our communities is a priority for us here in Gwent. We’re working to make sure all victims have greater confidence to report incidents to the police and I would urge anyone who has experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence to seek support and report it to us.”
To report, call 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. For advice and support you can contact Connect Gwent the victims’ hub on 0300 123 2133 or visit connectgwent.org.uk. In an emergency you should always dial 999.