A pair of brothers who have campaigned tirelessly to raise the issue of domestic abuse after their father shot and killed their mum and sister have been given an award for their ‘outstanding’ public service.
Luke and Ryan Hart were recognised by Lincolnshire police after demonstrating an outstanding ability and commitment to speaking out about domestic violence and abuse following the death of their mum Claire and their sister Charlotte, who were killed by their dad.
Claire and Charlotte were shot and killed in Spalding by Lance Hart in July 2016. He then turned the gun on himself.
Lance was later described as ‘controlling,’ and witnesses said Claire had put up with ‘decades of abuse.’ Luke and Ryan described him as a ‘vitriolic, controlling bully.’
Claire and Charlotte had moved out of the family home, to what was hoped to be a new start and a place of safety. Despite Lance’s controlling nature they had never considered their lives to be in danger and they had never considered that they were victims of domestic abuse – as he was never physically violent.
Since this heart-breaking experience, Luke and Ryan have demonstrated an outstanding ability and commitment to speaking out about domestic violence and abuse. They have worked tirelessly to raise the profile of controlling and coercive behaviour.
Both Luke and Ryan were pivotal voices in the Domestic Homicide Review that followed, and faced the local media on its publication on November 29, 2018.
They worked to encourage victims, who may not have identified the abuse yet, or may be living with the situation, to come forward and seek support.
Luke and Ryan spoke at the county’s domestic abuse conference in November 2018 and have since launched their own organisation, Coco Awareness, published a best-selling book and have become White Ribbon Ambassadors and Refuge Champions. They are speaking regularly at events nationally and internationally.
Luke and Ryan received the Outstanding Contribution to Public Service award as part of Lincolnshire Police’s annual recognition awards.