Nicole Jacobs, an Elmore County native, was recently designated as the United Kingdom’s first domestic abuse commissioner.
The primary responsibilities of this new government role will be to improve the response to domestic abuse in the UK, advocate for victims and make recommendations on what more should be done to better protect victims, and bring more offenders to justice.
Jacobs’ previous role was as the CEO of the charity Standing Together Against Domestic Violence. She has more than 25 years of experience working to reduce domestic abuse.
She is the daughter of Tony and Nadine Jacobs. Her parents, who still live in the area, moved to Wetumpka when she was six years old. She attended Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School from kindergarten to 12th grade.
After high school, she attended Hanover College located in Indiana and earned a master’s degree in public administration from Auburn University Montgomery.
“It is really fun for us to watch her career and see the appointment process,” Jacobs’ mother Nadine Jacobs said. “Nicole still has a lot of friends who live in the area.”
“Establishing the Office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner shows the Government’s commitment to reducing harm and improving the lives of those who experience domestic abuse,” she said.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be appointed as the first Commissioner and I intend to raise the voices of victims and survivors of all ages, status and background and ensure that we shine a light on practice that fails them.”
According to a recent report from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), deaths due to domestic violence have reached a five-year high for 2018 in the country.
“The focus of the commissioner will be to stand up for victims and survivors, raise public awareness and hold both agencies and government to account in tackling domestic abuse,” Victoria Atkins, minister for safeguarding and vulnerability, said.
“I look forward to working with Nicole, and together we can bring about the most comprehensive package of measures ever attempted in England and Wales.”
The independent Office of Domestic Abuse Commissioner will be tasked with encouraging good practice in preventing domestic abuse; identifying both those at risk of abuse as well as those perpetrating it and improving the protection and provision of support to those affected by domestic abuse. They will also be able to publish reports that hold statutory agencies and the Government to account.
During her career, Jacobs has worked in a number of roles linked to domestic abuse, including a frontline practitioner, in senior operational and management roles and as a trainer and strategic leader.