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Domestic Abuse Campaigners Petition For Valerie's Law For Black Women With 'Undetectable' Bruises

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Domestic Abuse Campaigners Petition For Valerie's Law For Black Women With 'Undetectable' Bruises

Domestic abuse campaigners are petitioning for specialist training to be introduced to help those working with domestic violence victims.

Charity Sistah Space works with Black women and girls who have experienced, or are at risk of experiencing domestic violence. The charity is now petitioning the government to introduce new training known as Valerie's Law.

The petition has nearly 15,000 signatures (Credit: Shutterstock)
The petition has nearly 15,000 signatures (Credit: Shutterstock)

Named after Valerie Forde, who - along with her 22-month-old baby - was killed by her ex partner seven years ago, the law is calling on officials to introduce cultural competency training, which would be rolled out within police forces and other government agencies.

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"Make specialist training mandatory for all police and other government agencies that support black women and girls affected by domestic abuse," the petition explains.

"Police and agencies should have culturally appropriate training to better understand the cultural needs of black women affected by domestic abuse.

Sistah Space is now petitioning the government to introduce new training known as Valerie's Law (Credit: Shutterstock)
Sistah Space is now petitioning the government to introduce new training known as Valerie's Law (Credit: Shutterstock)

"Too many African and Caribbean heritage women have not been afforded the same level of support that is offered to others.

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"This can only be addressed by Cultural Competency training being rolled out across the police and other government agencies. Without specialised training, it is practically impossible to support, or risk assess black women. This often puts black victims at increased risk."

Speaking about the failure in understanding the needs of Black women who have been victim to abuse, founder of Sistah Space, Ngozi Fulani, explained some woman who have suffered abuse have been told their scars are invisible.

She told The Voice: "Bruises and scars might be difficult to see on some Black skin, but it doesn't mean they are not there. Black women who have been abused, are being told their scars are invisible and that is not good enough.

"Understanding that bruises may appear different on black skin can make a real difference and can be the difference between life or death."

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Two of Valerie's daughters have also spoken out about the petition, sharing a video on Twitter (Credit: Twitter)
Two of Valerie's daughters have also spoken out about the petition, sharing a video on Twitter (Credit: Twitter)

Ngozi also explained she had heard some Black women had been placed in areas where they were unable to access culturally appropriate products, such as items for hair and skin.

Two of Valerie's daughters have also spoken out about the petition, sharing a video on Twitter.

"We know first hand the devastating effects domestic violence can have on a family. Still today, women and girls' lives are being put at risk so we are asking you to sign and share Valerie's Law," they said.

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You can sign the petition here.

If you need information and support on domestic abuse, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or Sistah Space here.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: News

Lucy Devine
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