New project launched in Lincolnshire to support women and girls after suffering trauma or abuse

A project aimed at preventing women and girls being swept into the criminal justice system as a result of trauma or abuse is being launched in Lincolnshire.

A county-wide partnership is being launched by the Police and Crime Commissioner after a review of the services available to women and girls.

Research shows that isolation, family problems, debt, addiction and untreated mental health problems is forcing too many women and girls into a criminal activity.

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The review showed that once caught up in criminal activity there was a lack of support to help the victims turn their life around and avoid being sucked into the criminal justice system.

Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones is launching Lincolnshire’s Women’s Strategy

The Lincolnshire’s Women’s Strategy is designed to improve the services available to help.

Work on developing the strategy was informed by the voices of four Lincolnshire women who had had experience of the criminal justice system. They were interviewed confidentially by women academics from the University of Lincoln.

Representatives from organisations across the county including the NHS, councils and the police have now signed the Lincolnshire Concordat – a document committing them to work together to improve outcomes for Lincolnshire women and girls.

The strategy includes examining the creation of a sustainable women’s centre and creating a focus on early intervention services. The full strategy can be seen at www.lincolnshire-pcc.gov.uk/transparency/lincolnshire-womens-strategy.

Mr Jones said: “Women told us that their traumatic experiences in childhood had resulted in them getting involved in crime, with disastrous outcomes for themselves and others.

“The failure to adopt mental health and trauma informed approaches has led women and girls to experience further traumatisation through arrest, trial, and imprisonment where suffering, self-harm and suicide are all too frequent.

“We cannot allow this to continue and the strategy is aimed at supporting women and girls and in the process their families too.”

Statistics show that the peak offending age of women is just 15-years-old compared to men’s at 23.