Victims of domestic abuse now have an opportunity to give their feedback on how they are treated by the police, and by specialist support agencies who offer advice and counselling.
A nationally-required survey is being led locally by Sussex Police, who will make the short confidential and anonymous on-line survey available to all victims.
Detective Chief Inspector Ali Eaton, Sussex Police policy lead on domestic abuse issues, said, "There was a helpful previous such survey in Sussex, conducted by independent domestic advisory advisers, but the new nationally compliant survey, required by the Home Office, is a complete re-design and has now been set up as an online survey.
"This is a valuable opportunity to increase our understanding of victims’ feelings and experiences to help us improve the service by the police and our partners.
"We know how vitally important it is that victims of domestic abuse are supported as soon as they make a report to the police and then throughout every aspect of an investigation, and that everyone involved adapts what we do in order to provide specialist support as required.
“It is only by providing the opportunity for victims to tell us about their experience – for example whether they are feeling supported and we are listening to what they are telling us - that we can really assure ourselves that we are providing the best possible service.
"We need to provide this opportunity in a secure and safe environment where the victim can fully reflect on their experience and feel confident their anonymised feedback will really make a difference.
"The survey should take no longer than 10-15 minutes and all results will be kept strictly confidential.
"Victims can complete the survey at any stage of a report or investigation, from first contact to post prosecution."
Commenting on the survey, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne said, "It is crucial that the voices of survivors of domestic abuse are heard and any concerns they raise are recorded and properly acted upon if we are to improve their experience of our criminal justice system.
"Statistics are extremely helpful when trying to gauge the scale of domestic abuse but they often cannot provide the full picture particularly when it comes to coercive and controlling behaviour.”
For advice and support over domestic abuse in Sussex visit www.sussex.police.uk or call 101 or 01273 470101. We have specially trained officers who can help.
If you are not confident in talking to the police, there are other organisations who can give you the confidential advice and support that you need online.