Help us hold police officers who abuse women to account

by Sarah and Jodie*

Help us hold police officers who abuse women to account

by Sarah and Jodie*
Sarah and Jodie*
Case Owner
We have been affected personally by this case, and with your help, we can put a stop to this type of behaviour within the UK police forces.
6
days to go
£5,725
pledged of £10,000 stretch target from 263 pledges
Pledge now
Sarah and Jodie*
Case Owner
We have been affected personally by this case, and with your help, we can put a stop to this type of behaviour within the UK police forces.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Sept. 7, 2020

Our case has been featured in the Daily Mail!

Thank you so much to everyone who has contacted us and supported our crowdfunder after reading about our case in the Daily Mail last week. We’ve been really touched by the comments on this page…

Read more

Help us stop officers being able to use their positions to abuse women.


How can women trust the police to investigate domestic abuse when officers who are themselves guilty of such conduct continue to be protected?

For years, an officer in Gwent Police was allowed to use his position to get away with abusing women. Entrusted with the training of new recruits, he would develop relationships with junior colleagues before subjecting them to forms of controlling and coercive behaviour. Earlier this year, that officer was finally dismissed, after a disciplinary panel upheld allegations of violent and domineering behaviour made by multiple women.

Complaints made about the officer’s misconduct to Gwent Police force were ignored and mishandled. As a result, he was allowed to remain in the position while women who complained were victimised and in one instance pushed out of her job.

We are two of the women who were victims of this former police officer.  He was protected by our employer at the expense of our physical safety, mental health, and careers. We have had enough and we are taking action. 

We are launching a legal challenge against Gwent police and their protection of a domestic violence perpetrator in their ranks. We can't go up against this police force alone and need your support. 


The Case

For over 20 years, Gwent police employed an officer who had a pattern of abusive behaviour towards women, including colleagues. When we made the decision to complain about him, we each believed that by coming forward we would stop other women from having to go through the same thing. But instead we were punished for speaking up, while senior officers failed to take steps to protect other female recruits or to keep us safe from him.

For years, police colleagues of the perpetrator and those higher up helped cover up and victimise the women who complained.  We need to challenge the police culture of facilitating and ignoring violence against women.

In the coming weeks our lawyers from the Centre for Women’s Justice will be finalising a legal claim against Gwent Police, challenging their negligence in failing to prevent this abuser from harming other officers and seeking compensation for the trauma that we have been put through and the losses we suffered.


What we need

We are raising funds to take the police force to court.  We need funds to pay for court fees and the costs of medical and other reports that will evidence the damage we suffered.

Our lawyers will only be paid if we win but we still need money to pay the costs of things like expert reports and court fees in order to bring the case and to protect ourselves against having to pay costs if we do not win.

In the event that our claim is ultimately successful, and all our costs are recovered, then any CrowdJustice funds left over will be donated to Centre for Women’s Justice to support other legal cases or their wider charitable work.

Any donations you are able to make will be crucial to our ability to bring this case. You can also help by sharing this campaign and asking other people to donate.

Thank you for your support.

*Not the case-owners real name

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Update 3

Sarah and Jodie*

Sept. 7, 2020

Our case has been featured in the Daily Mail!

Thank you so much to everyone who has contacted us and supported our crowdfunder after reading about our case in the Daily Mail last week. We’ve been really touched by the comments on this page - it means a lot. 

For those who haven’t seen the article, you can find it here.

We can’t refer to the Daily Mail’s coverage without paying tribute to the incredible bravery of a fellow officer, Nicola Richardson, for going on record to speak about her own experiences of domestic abuse by a serial perpetrator from within the police. Hearing about cases like Nicola’s reminds us once again that our own experiences, sadly, are far from unique. Evidence suggests that police forces simply have a ‘blind spot’ when it comes to investigating their own for violence against women. 

A super-complaint prepared this year by the Centre forWomen’s Justice revealed that as of March 2020 they had been contacted by as many as 46 women, all victims of domestic abuse or other forms of male violence by serving police officers, and all of whom reported that they had been unable to persuade their local police forces to take action. You can read about some of those case studies - and the common themes that emerge - on the Centre for Women’s Justice’s website.

We have now - after many months - received a response from Gwent Police to our claim, in which they have refused to take legal responsibility for what happened to us. This means that we cannot proceed with our legal action without a risk of escalating costs. Although our lawyers are acting for us on a 'no win no fee' basis, we have to pay substantial costs just to take this claim to court, including court fees, and the costs of paying psychiatric experts and others. If we lose the case or any part of the case, we could also be ordered to pay a large sum in costs to Gwent Police. This means we desperately need to raise further funds to be able to hold the police to account, over what has happened to us and other women.

We are therefore appealing to new and existing supporters to donate anything that you can to help us meet our target, and to share this link with friends and colleagues, inviting them to donate. As you can see, we still have some way to go before we meet our current target. Please help us if you can!

Update 2

Sarah and Jodie*

March 10, 2020

Rachel Williams calls for support for Gwent Police Challenge

Rachel Williams calls for support for the Gwent Police Challenge. Please share this video on social media and via email and WhatsApp to get our message out!


Update 1

Sarah and Jodie*

March 2, 2020

We are not going away!

''On Friday, Gwent Police's legal services informed us that they want to buy even more time to respond to our proposed claim, having failed to make use of the further two-month extension that we granted them in January. Not only that, but despite having had five months now to consider the letter we sent them detailing our claim, they have admitted that they have not yet even passed this case up to theirCounsel.

When so much time has already passed, this lack of effort from GwentPolice is incredibly disappointing. Personally, I believe they are hoping to wear us down by attrition - that if they drag this out, we will just go away. Sadly, these delay tactics hardly come as a shock to me given the contempt with which Gwent Police treated me when I first tried to report the abuse I had suffered the first time around.

Jodie and I want to send a message out to Gwent Police that we are NOT going away, and call on the Chief Constable to dignify our letter of claim with the courtesy of a response. This case is not just about us, and the justice that we were denied: it is about ensuring a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and misogyny among police ranks.

We have been hugely touched by the donations and kind messages that have flooded in so far. We would be really grateful however if everyone who has been following our case could help us to raise the funds that we need to keep going with this legal challenge, and to show Gwent Police that we are not going anywhere. We have already incurred costs in preparing the evidence that we need at this stage, and have a long road ahead of us.

We will shortly be releasing a short video about our case on this page, explaining why we think this legal challenge matters, what will happen next, and why we need funding. Please do look out for this, and if you can take a bit of time to share a link to the video with everyone you know, it could make the difference we need.''

- Sarah 

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