Last week, the Isle of Man Constabulary announced the deployment of the Supermarket Safe Spaces program. This is a wonderful initiative! A key component of the program is for Shoprite staff to complete training so that staff can identifying and assist potential victims of domestic abuse.
It is normal for candidates for the House of Keys to “door-knock” their constituency. Indeed, I will attempt to visit every registered residence in the constituency of Douglas East between now and election day on Thursday, September 23.
Consequently, I wrote to Chief Constable Gary Roberts to obtain appropriate training from him and his team on identifying and assisting potential victims of domestic abuse that I, or other candidates, may encounter while campaigning.
Such training may be particularly helpful to help mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 lockdowns caused by the Isle of Man Cabinet Office’s mistakes, and it is possible that such training might be inspired by, or draw upon, the existing Supermarket Safe Spaces program – thus ensuring that existing resources are used effectively.
Need to look forward
Within days of the first lockdown being implemented in March 2020, I published a series of proactive ideas to reduce the risk of domestic violence – because waiting to react is too late. Sadly, the Isle of Man Government’s existing attitude towards domestic violence has been one of being reactive, rather than proactive. Hence, domestic violence spiked later.
Further, and most sadly, on January of 2021, when we were plunged back into the second lockdown, a local woman was allegedly murdered in a domestic violence incident on January 17 – and three days later, on January 20, the IOM Government “clarified” the law that people were allowed to leave their home if they were at risk of domestic violence.
We need to start looking ahead, instead of looking behind.