Helping vulnerable people to avoid an abusive relationship is to be the lead theme in a national conference tackling domestic abuse, it can be revealed.
Experts from a range of fields will gather together for the ‘Is Prevention Better than Cure’ conference looking at issues surrounding domestic abuse, which will be held in Chesterfield in April.
The conference, which is being organised by national criminal justice network NoOffence! in partnership with Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles, is aimed at provoking discussion about how partners can protect victims of domestic incidents more effectively by acting earlier.
Delegates will explore the HMIC’s recent report; Everyone’s business: Improving the police response to domestic abuse, and a recent study by Bristol University which estimated the cost of domestic abuse to the health service as £23bn.
High profile speakers from a variety of backgrounds including policing, health and education will deliver presentations on latest DV research and best practice to inspire public protection agencies to work more closely together to deliver an enhanced service to both victims and survivors of either domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is one of Commissioner Charles’ top priorities and falls within his overall goal to improve the support and protection offered to all victims of crime in Derbyshire.
He has channelled funding from his Crime Prevention Fund into a number of preventative and supportive schemes which help those affected by domestic abuse to cope and recover from their experiences, build self-esteem and reduce their risk of future abuse. The Commissioner has also recently invested in a new protective device for victims of domestic abuse who are at high risk of harm to enable them to contact police immediately and covertly if they are in any danger.
Announcing the conference, Commissioner Charles said: “There is now very strong agreement among our criminal justice partners that we must address the challenges presented by domestic abuse, preferably before it begins. We need to recognise signs, provide appropriate education to young people and establish a zero tolerance regime for any incident of domestic abuse.
“Collectively, we have put the needs of victims at the heart of our community safety plans and this conference will enable us to keep the momentum going and to identify innovative approaches moving forward.
“Every one of us has a desire to increase confidence among victims of domestic abuse so that they continue to come forward and report these horrific crimes to police. These vulnerable people need to know that they will be protected from their abuser by seeking help and will receive the full range of practical help and counselling needed to make a full recovery.”
Sue Clifford, Chief Executive of NoOffence!, added: “This conference will enable us to come together to explore the options available to us to ensure that we are able to fully support the victims of domestic abuse, whilst being mindful of future funding constraints and growing need.
“We welcome this opportunity to work alongside the Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner to bring you this conference, demonstrating that this PCC has victims at the top of his priorities and showing his commitment to the voluntary sector by working with a not for profit social business such as NoOffence, to fully explore the options and to ensure that future services truly represent what is needed and possible to achieve.”
The conference panel will discuss how to improve early recognition of domestic abuse among professionals such as GPs, education workers, social services and housing authorities and how this information can be better shared and communicated between agencies responsible for the safety of vulnerable individuals.
It will also explore the issue of effective commissioning and whether more emphasis should be placed on prevention rather than cure in the services that are contracted including preventative education to help children understand what a healthy relationship is.
The event, due to be held on April 22 at the Proact Stadium in Chesterfield, is expected to draw a range of professionals from health practitioners and local authority domestic abuse leads through to representatives from the voluntary and charity sector, education experts and the Police.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair – 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Thursday 12th February 2015