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Nearly a year has passed since I became the first Victims’ Commissioner for the West Midlands. A responsibility I will never take for granted and I made a commitment that I will do all I can and take every opportunity to ensure that victims in our region are treated with dignity, their needs are understood and we enable them to cope with and hopefully recover from what they have experienced due to crime.

Every day in this role I meet amazing people who work tirelessly to put victims and their needs first. From people like Assistant Chief Constable Claire Bell who has led on the forces Violence Against Women and Girls strategy, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Sean Kyne who works diligently for the best criminal justice outcomes for victims, Paul and Emma who selflessly support Terrific Truffles the Force’s wellbeing dog and the amazing women from Birmingham City University who came to interview me regarding a documentary they were making to investigate cases of spiking in Birmingham.

It is no secret that violence against women and girls and domestic abuse have been top priorities for me and I have been proud to be a strong voice and advocate for the sector. Working with the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster we have made strides over the past year in tackling violence against women and girls by doubling the number of Independent Domestic Violence Advisers and Independent Sexual Violence Advisers across the region, commissioning a stalking intervention program and funding the one and only 24-hour multilingual honour-based abuse helpline.

Importantly we have launched our Here and Now campaign following on from our #NoExcuseforAbuse Campaign. It asks men to prioritise these conversations, as all men should be upstanders in playing their part in putting a stop to unacceptable male behaviours and deep-rooted misogyny and not bystanders to abuse and intimidation. For too long conversations have focused upon women and what they should be doing to keep themselves safe and this victim blaming attitude needs to change. Policing the behaviour of women will never end male violence and that’s why it is so important we also look at the root cause. There is lots more exciting work coming up on this, so watch this space.

Domestic abuse has impacted the lives of many close to me and I know personally the lasting influence it can have upon a person’s life. Nobody choses to be a victim of crime and my lived experience is what drives my passion to affect change.

This blog will be a monthly addition so I can keep you all up to date with the work I have been doing. Please look out for my one for my next month and a link to my socials are below.

Twitter: @nickyebrennan

Instagram: nicky.0121

TikTok: nickyebrennan

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