Monday, 17 June 2013

In Maria's name ~ time to take action

Fact: two women are killed every week by their current or former partner.

Two women. Every single week. 

That statistic sends shivers down my spine.  How can this still be happening in this day and age?

You may have read about this distressing case recently, the case of Maria Stubbings  who was murdered in 2008 by Mark Chivers – a man already known to the police for killing another woman.The details of the case are very distressing, particularly as she had tried to get protection from the police.

~ Marc Chivers killed Maria just 11 months after being released from prison in Germany for killing a previous girlfriend. He was released from prison in January 2008 without any condition and deported to the UK. Essex police were aware of Marc Chivers' previous conviction for domestic murder.

~ In July 2007 Chivers assaulted Maria and was prosecuted and convicted. Before Chivers release from prison, Essex police disabled an alarm in Maria's home. On his release, no conditions were placed on Chivers and no steps were taken by Essex police to provide protection for Maria.

~ A friend of Maria called the police in early December 2007 to express concern about her but the police took no action.

~ On 11th December 2007 Maria called the police to report that Chivers was 'hanging around' her home and had entered it and stolen items from her handbag. The call was logged as urgent but then downgraded. The case was closed after officers visited Maria's home and got her to sign their notebooks saying she didn't want further action taken, despite the fact that they believed Chivers might be present at the time in Maria's home.

~ On 14th December, a domestic violence officer saw the police log and became concerned about Maria. After a series of ineffective visits, officers finally visited on 19th December with specific orders to search the property and arrest Chivers for burglary. Maria's body was found.

Her family are calling on the Home Secretary to launch a public inquiry into the response of the police and other state agencies to women and children who experience domestic violence.

The sad fact is that 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. That statistic means that you know someone who has either experienced it or is experiencing it now. 

You can help them by signing an e-petition asking the Home Secretary to open the public inquiry.

Please take a minute - it literally takes just a minute - to sign the petition here.  Every single signature matters and could help women in the future. Let's take some action.