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Police chief on Spalding double murder: 'We all have a role to play in ending domestic abuse'




Brothers Luke and Ryan Hart say until we challenge coercive and controlling behaviours, our society will devastatingly fail to protect women and children.

Some lessons to be learned from the tragic deaths of their mum Claire (50) and sister Charlotte (19) are outlined in a Domestic Homicide Review, published by the Safer Lincolnshire Partnership on Thursday.

Those lessons will be heard across the county and the country so that signs and symptoms of coercive control are more widely recognised.

Ryan Hart, Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Davison, author Dr Russell Wate and Luke Hart were in Grantham on Thursday for the publication of the Domestic Homicide Review into the deaths of Claire and Charlotte Hart.
Ryan Hart, Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Davison, author Dr Russell Wate and Luke Hart were in Grantham on Thursday for the publication of the Domestic Homicide Review into the deaths of Claire and Charlotte Hart.

Detective Chief Supt Chris Davison, who chairs the partnership's strategy board, believes everyone can play a part in ending domestic abuse by reporting it to the police whenever they encounter it.

He says: "Often the dominant male in a family who is using controlling behaviour sets the rules, restricts access as he did in this case to the outside world, so people within the family come to accept this as normal behaviour, which it isn't."

Detective Chief Supt Davison believes some of the warning signs were there in the Hart case, with people saying "oh, he really protects his family", and he questions whether that was another way of them saying that Lance Hart was controlling.

He wants everyone - relatives, friends, neighbours, professionals - to report their suspicions to the police when they discover families with problems at home.

Detective Chief Supt Davison said: "I would much rather people act on their suspicions and be proven wrong than don't act on their suspicions and be proven right."

While Claire and Charlotte were murdered in a car park, it was essentially a domestic crime that happened in a public place.

Luke and Ryan say few of us would go out into the streets if they were as dangerous as our homes.

The brothers explained: "Fifty per cent of murdered women are killed by a partner or ex-partner as opposed to only three per cent for men.

"While we do nothing, two women a week are killed by a partner or ex-partner and domestic homicides will continue to account for a third of all murders in our society.

"Over half of all homicides occur in the home. The home is not a sanctuary, but is an arena of abuse and death within our society. The four walls of the home, for many, are more impenetrable than the most secure prison."

The brothers say in order to address domestic abuse, masculine ideals should be redefined and gender-based violence eliminated.

They say: "Women and children deserve better. Any ideas of ownership that men have over their families are less important than the rights of freedom for women and children."



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