Assistant Chief Constable Sam Millar visits Live Fear Free Helpline

Earlier this year, we welcomed Assistant Chief Constable Sam Millar to our Live Fear Free Helpline. Below are her reflections on her day spent with our fantastic team:

I am Sam Millar, and I am an Assistant Chief Constable working as the Strategic Programme Director for the National Police Chiefs Council VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) Taskforce.

As part of my national role, I speak to and visit charities and third sector organisations that support women and girls and are working to end domestic abuse and all forms of violence against them. I am always so impressed by the dedication and compassion shown by the people who do so much amazing work in this area, and my visit to the Live Free Helpline in North Wales on the 25th of April was no exception to this.

It was my pleasure to meet the CEO of Welsh Women’s Aid Sara Kirkpatrick and some of her colleagues. It was my absolute privilege to speak to the staff who take the calls from victims and survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, or any other form of violence against them in Wales.

The team takes about 450 calls a week. They are bilingual in the language of English and Welsh, and there are interpreters available for those people who have a first language that is not English or Welsh. This means that people can speak about their experience in their first language so that they are able to describe how they are feeling and the impact of the abuse they are suffering without having to translate it into English first.

I was delighted to hear that the helpline is available to police officers and staff who need professional advice as well as advice for abuse they are suffering personally.

I was so impressed to hear that the office is staffed 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and the passion and commitment from the people in the team was palpable. The mission is clear – to listen to victims and survivors and offer them the best support that is available to them to make them safer and make them feel safer.

I look forward to working with Sara and her team so that I can understand the impact of the Helpline in some more detail.

Sam Millar