Well last week I began the journey with #OneVoice in Newcastle and my wonderful PR man Keith Newman from Highlights PR and this week, well what can I say except EPIC!
On Tuesday a very excited me packed up my car and headed to Scotland to meet with the Commander of North Dundee and his team after I was invited up. The Commander, Conrad Trickett initially made contact with me on Twitter a couple of months ago and so although very nervous I was ready to learn and eager to educate myself in Scottish Law.
Scotland is very beautiful and what happened on that first day, even before I met with Police Scotland still has me smiling from ear to ear. I popped into Asda in Milton of Craigie and was that lost in thought that I forgot to pick my cash back up from the self service check out. As I wandered towards the exit I felt a tap on my shoulder, a GENTLEman who smiled and handed me my money, I thanked him of course but I would now love to meet him again and give him a hug, my first impression of the people of Dundee was awesome.
Wednesday morning dawned and even though I felt sick with nerves I arrived at Dundee HQ with an open mind and ready to learn and boy did I learn! Conrad Trickett and his team are amazing, they taught me so much about Scottish Law and the way Police Scotland deal with domestic violence. Here are just some of the things I learn't.
As you all know I am trying to change the way our Family Courts deal with anti-molestation orders, it is not right that the victim has to face her/his abuser only 2 weeks after escaping in a very small and informal room with no security etc present. In Scotland this does not happen! The Police and Sheriffs Court deal with it all and therefore the victim is saved from this ordeal, why can't this be done in England and Wales? I will be looking into this some more over the coming weeks because it is of paramount importance that our victims are cocooned not put into a situation that causes fear and anxiety.
Conrad and I spoke about many things, body cams for all DV cases to enable victimless prosecutions, the education of our young, victim support early in all court processes, we covered a lot in such a short space of time and I hope that Conrad will allow me back very soon because I am missing Scotland already!
The drive home was an emotional one because for the very first time in a long time I am truly experiencing and seeing the world in peace. Yes I have been to the countryside and beach before but I never was allowed or able to see what was around me, never permitted to just sit and enjoy. To sit on the beach at St. Andrews with my bare feet in the sand whilst watching children play was something I will never forget and every single moment has been captured in my mind. The last stop before I entered England was at a breathtaking place where a sign captured my thoughts and feelings perfectly "An Eternal Friendship," I think I will always have this where Scotland is concerned, no wonder you want to keep your independence, I would!
I would just like to personally thank again CI Conrad Trickett, your guidance and knowledge have helped me so much and now I can work even harder to try to prevent our victims from suffering needlessly, I don't trust many people but I do CI Trickett and not because he is a policeman but because he's a GOOD man, a GENTLEman and despite his very large size, yes I know I'm a munchkin and everyone is big to me but Conrad is huge :) he is a very kind man and despite being busy commanding North Dundee he took the time to teach me. Thank you. x
To Graeme from The Dundee Courier and Lauren from the Evening Telegraph, thank you for lending me your voices for #OneVoice and putting domestic violence firmly in the media spotlight.
I ended the week with an interview for BBC Radio Manchester and would also like to thank Sam Walker for lending us her voice too. My very first live radio interview wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, mind you if you get me talking about #OneVoice I never can stop!
Everything seems so much different when one is permitted to truly experience it and I admit to being almost childlike in my excitement but I can' help it, I am excited, life is so good and whoever said you can't teach an old dog new tricks, hey you are wrong!
I hope the sun is shining where you are. Have a wonderful weekend.
#OneVoice Never Silenced
Survivors not victims!