Expert Speaker at Domestic Abuse Conference for the Equality and Diversity UK Network Manchester 2018
In 2018 I was contacted by the Equality and Diversity UK Network based in Manchester. They were looking at offering a domestic abuse mini conference to local providers. The conference was held in November 2018. The conference consisted of me appearing as the key note speaker, two survivor testimonies, followed by a Q&A Panel for questions which was facilitated by myself and the opener, Dr Cheryl Turner, who is involved with ED UK.
In my speech I spoke predominately about the Freedom Programme and used the Net as a human behaviour model, explaining through the use of the different personas and tactics used, how domestic abuse starts to happen. See Trait & Persona’s. How a victim is groomed, and in an abusive situation, before she even knew it had started. For some victims they don’t even know it has started when they are right up to their necks in it. I also reflected on where everyday when we are living in an abusive dynamic, that Human Rights are actually breached on a daily basis, and explained how they fit within all of the legislative articles of the European Convention of Human Rights. See the details of these on my NO MORE Campaign page
We finished off nicely with a roundup as to what needs to be done. We all know about the impact and effect of resources, and there was lots of discussion around that, especially on the Q&A at the end with the Panel. But my key belief is that, as a professional, there are now values that need to be in check, and they need to be in the right place. If our values and our belief systems are skewed, we will be bias in our practices, whether we are intended, conscious or unconscious, it will be bias and that will be felt by the victim, and therefore the values and beliefs need looking at, need to do some navel-gazing as professionals, and then we need to change anything that doesn’t quite sit right, which gives us a bias to be judgemental, to assume, and we need to do lots of myth busting which we can do that through the law but also through those belief systems.
I think one of the most paramount things for me in practice, is that regardless of how much budget we have got, regardless of how much capacity we have got, if we are integral to our beliefs and our values, and the fact that we are in that role to support that victim, because that is our intension. Sometimes that support can seem like its not even going to be close, in terms of addressing the issues that are needed. But if we can be true to ourselves, if we can be human, if we can be empathic, then even if we cant actually deliver anything to make any massive changes, the victim will have felt heard and that is a massive, massive thing when we are trying to unpick this confusion and understand the demand of Agencies and get ourselves out of a situation, that we are not really clear about ourselves. So, making a difference as a professional, is ensuring that judgements are set aside, beliefs are core and fit with the values of why you are doing the job in the first place. Validate the victims experience, hear her voice, and of course always, refer her to a Freedom Programme.