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Ruth Dodsworth encourages others to report domestic violence and abuse

This week marks National Safeguarding Week, and this year’s theme is safeguarding our communities. We can all be vulnerable to abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Safeguarding is about protecting ourselves and those in our community and enabling them to live free from harm.

Working with partners including West Glamorgan Safeguarding Board and Cardiff and Vale Regional Safeguarding Boards, officers will be taking part in a range of events to educate and raise awareness of safeguarding issues.

Domestic violence and abuse is the most reported safeguarding issue to South Wales Police, with a third of all violent crimes being domestic related. Every 15 minutes, the Force receives a phone call relating to incidents of domestic abuse.

Earlier this year, ITV Wales presenter Ruth Dodsworth’s ex-husband was sentenced to three years in jail for coercive and controlling behaviour and stalking.

Ruth said “I realised that he was quite volatile very early on, but the relationship is new, you forgive certain things, you think ‘oh it’s okay it will blow over’.

“I became more and more isolated from friends and family, but that in a weird way that made it harder because he very much became the centre of my world, he was all I had in a sense.

“I know categorically if I’d stayed, I’d be dead now, and so asking for help saved my life.”

Detective Chief Inspector Eve Davis, force lead for domestic abuse and violence, said “Domestic abuse and violence is a priority for South Wales Police. It can affect anyone and not only has devastating impacts upon those suffering the abuse directly but affects others such as children, extended family members, friends and the community also.

I would encourage any victim or survivor of abuse to make that call for help, additionally if you are concerned about someone you know you can also make a call on their behalf.

South Wales Police works with a number of a number of partner agencies to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse and violence, and if there are people that don’t wish to make a report directly to the police then please consider making contact with Live Fear Free.”

If you are concerned about someone you know, the following links to advice and information on a range of safeguarding issues might be of use:

Domestic Abuse: Advice about domestic abuse | South Wales Police (south-wales.police.uk)

Stalking and Harassment: Stalking and harassment | South Wales Police (south-wales.police.uk)

Child Abuse: Advice about child abuse | South Wales Police (south-wales.police.uk)

Live Fear Free: Live Fear Free helpline | GOV.WALES