Building Safer Communities: A New Approach to Confronting and Preventing Domestic Abuse

Date:     Wednesday 13th November 2019

Time:     9:15am - 4:00pm

Venue:  Broadway House, Westminster

  • Event Abstract
  • Programme
  • Key Speakers
  • Who Should Attend?
  • Marketing Opportunities

There are two million victims of domestic abuse in England and Wales, more than two thirds of which are women. For many years, services for victims and their children have been unable to cope with the scale of this crime, leaving far too many unable to access the support that they so desperately need. According to recent figures from Women’s Aid , an estimated 21,084 referrals to refuges in England were declined, averaging over 400 women victims being turned away from refuge every week.

Signalling a renewed determination to confront this complex and often hidden crime, the Government introduced the Domestic Abuse Bill to Parliament on 16th July 2019 after an extensive consultation process. This landmark piece of legislation sets out a series of wide-ranging reforms to radically shake-up the legal and policy response to domestic abuse. Crucially, the new framework adds financial control, coercive control and threatening behaviour to the definition in law. Furthermore, there are new measures to enhance awareness and protection for victims through the new Domestic Abuse Protection Notice and Order as part of a wider systemic overhaul to improve service provision and transform the criminal justice response to meet the needs of victims and prosecute perpetrators.

Fundamental to the implementation of the reforms is the creation of a new watchdog, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner. As part of its remit, the Commissioner will advocate for victims and survivors, raise public awareness, oversee the remapping of services, monitor the response of national and local government, the justice system and other statutory agencies and hold them to account in tackling domestic abuse.

Legislative action, however, cannot tackle this issue alone – Wider societal change, greater public awareness and more proactive early intervention strategies are needed to successfully confront and prevent this horrific crime. This special Policy Foresight symposium offers a timely opportunity for local authorities, third sector, health, police and other statutory agencies to come together to examine the likely impact of the proposed reforms and explore how to enhance joined-up working, improve information sharing and bolster support for victims of domestic abuse and their children.

Resource - 21st January 2019: Domestic Abuse Bill Published

Latest News - 16th July 2019: "Landmark moment” as Domestic Abuse Bill introduced to Parliament

Latest News - 18th September 2019: UK's first Domestic Abuse Commissioner announced as government pledges to tackle crime

Latest News - 21st October 2019: New legal duty for local authorities to deliver life-saving support to survivors of domestic abuse


Registration and Morning Refreshments


Chair's Welcome and Opening Remarks


Opening Address: A New Approach to Confronting Domestic Abuse – The National Context


Question Time


Morning Refreshments


Morning Panel Session:
Safeguarding Victims of Domestic Abuse through Proactive Early Intervention

  • Preventing Domestic Abuse – Raising awareness of risk factors and warning signs and developing targeted responses
  • Providing trauma informed care – Upskilling frontline staff to better support victims of abuse
  • The new public sector duty on local authorities - Improving access to accommodation and housing support for at-risk individuals and victims and their children
  • Providing effective interventions and adequate service provision for harder to reach groups including disabled, migrant women, LGBT and individuals in rural settings
  • Domestic violence perpetrator programmes – Understanding their role and improving their effectiveness to create behaviour change and stop violence

  • 12:10pm

    Discussion Groups


    Question Time: Morning Panel Debate


    Networking Lunch


    Afternoon Panel Session:
    Strengthening Multi-Agency Working to Support Survivors and Bring Perpetrators to Justice

  • Strengthening Local Partnership Boards and MARACs – Enhancing multi-agency working and data-sharing between health, police, adult and children’s services, local authorities, third sector and community organisations
  • Bridging the Gap – Remapping local services meet to the needs of victims through coordinated and robust support, providing access to domestic abuse services
  • Transforming the criminal justice process to prioritise victim experience and safety
  • Ensuring effective investigations and prosecutions to bring perpetrators to justice and end abuse
  • Providing long-term solutions for victims to access housing and support to rebuild their lives

  • 3:10pm

    Afternoon Refreshments


    Discussion Groups


    Question Time: Afternoon Panel Debate


    Chair’s Summary and Closing Comments


    Networking Reception

    NHS England

    Claire Mathews, Clinical Lead for Domestic Abuse, NHS England


    Claire Waxman, Victims Commissioner for London, MOPAC

    Women's Aid

    Ruth Mason, Business Development Lead, Women’s Aid

    Met Police

    Janice Cawley, A/Detective Inspector, Specialist Crime Review Group (SCRG), Metropolitan Police Service


    Jane Keeper, Director of Operations, Refuge


    Victoria Cousins, Director, Make a Change, Respect


    Ippo Panteloudakis, Head of Services, Respect


    Gudrun Burnet, Co-Founder, DAHA Alliance; Group Lead on Domestic Abuse, Resident Services, Peabody


    Laura Butterworth, Senior Programme Manager, Violence against Women and Girls, London Borough of Waltham Forest

    Policy Foresight

    Davina James-Hanman, Independent Violence Against Women Consultant

    • Local Authority Officers & Councillors
    • Central Government Departments & Agencies
    • Police & Crime Commissioners
    • Domestic Abuse & Sexual Abuse Co-ordinators
    • Independent Domestic Abuse Advisors (Idvas)
    • Social Workers
    • Directors of Children’s Services
    • Heads of Victim Support
    • Victim Support Officers
    • Directors of Safeguarding
    • Safeguarding Managers
    • Local Safeguarding Children Boards
    • Local Safeguarding Adult Boards
    • Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)
    • Drug & Alcohol Action Teams
    • Community Safety Officers & Managers
    • Safeguarding & Child Protection Teams
    • Family & Parental Support Workers
    • Refuge Services
    • Head of Housing & Support Services
    • Housing Officers
    • Troubled Families Teams
    • Children & Family Services
    • Domestic Abuse Police Leads
    • Neighbourhood Policing Officers & Practitioners
    • General Practitioners
    • Community Midwives
    • Clinical Leads
    • NHS Health Workers
    • Commissioning & Partnerships Managers
    • Staff Nurses
    • Family Services
    • Court Service, Judges & Magistrates
    • Criminologists
    • Equality & Diversity Officers
    • Voluntary & Community Organisations
    • Academics & Researchers

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