Every single week, two women are killed as a result of domestic violence. Each death leaves behind devastated relatives and friends. Maria Stubbings was murdered by her former partner, Marc Chivers, in December 2008 â just 11 months after Chivers was released from prison in Germany for killing a previous girlfriend. Essex Police were aware of his previous conviction for murder. They were also aware that in July 2008 he had been convicted and jailed for assaulting Maria. Before Chiversâ release from prison, Essex Police disabled an alarm in Mariaâs home. No conditions were placed on Chivers on his release and no steps were taken to provide protection for Maria. In the days leading up to her death, Maria called the police to ask for help as Chivers was ‘hanging round’ her home. The case was closed after officers visited Mariaâs home and got her to sign their notebooks saying she didnât want further action taken. This is despite the fact that they believed Chivers might be present at the time in Mariaâs home. Maria’s case is not a one-off. Refuge supports a number of families who have lost loved ones to domestic violence. Many women using our services also tell us that they feel completely let down by the police, and other state agencies. Numerous IPCC investigations into police handling of domestic violence have shown recurring failings in forces across the country - sometimes in the most basic of policing duties. We urgently need a public inquiry to investigate why these failures keep happening. IPCC reports put the spotlight on individual police forces â but no-one is looking at the national picture. A public inquiry will make links between forces and help improve the state response to domestic violence across the country. Refuge, the national domestic violence charity, and Mariaâs family are determined to ensure that Maria did not die in vain. Please add your voice to this campaign. Mariaâs family are also fundraising for Refuge in her memory. Click here: http://www.justgiving.com/MariaFernandez
Find out more about domestic violence and our campaign In Maria’s Name at http://refuge.org.uk/maria
Photography copyright Julian Nieman
(Source: theendofproject, via propoleno)
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