Bovington Park Conference Centre was packed with over 200 delegates at the ‘No Excuse for Abuse’ conference on Thursday 27 November to mark Domestic Abuse Awareness Week in the county.
It was jointly funded and co–hosted by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Women’s Action Network Dorset (WAND).
The event attracted attendees from across Dorset from a variety of different organisations and charities. Delegates heard from a number of speakers covering topics such as support for young witnesses of domestic abuse, working with perpetrators of abuse, raising awareness of young victims and introducing the new Dorset Police Domestic Abuse Training DVDs. The highlight of the event was the keynote speech by Eve Thomas, a domestic abuse survivor who founded the #SAFE organisation and helped to change legislation through ‘Eve’s law.’
Martyn Underhill, Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “This awful crime is a huge priority for my team and Dorset Police. It was humbling to see a standing ovation for Eve Thomas who was brave enough to talk about her experiences that led her to establish the #SAFE project. It was fantastic to see so many people ranging from survivors of abuse to professional organisations supporting and tackling domestic violence, in one room sharing ideas and experiences.”
Eve Thomas said: “The No Excuse For Abuse Conference was a rip roaring success, so many professionals committed to fighting the war on domestic violence and abuse. Congratulations to Dorset OPCC, who pulled off a stonking conference packed with education, information and above all else hope.”
In the afternoon delegates were able to undertake workshops, expanding on the topics covered in the morning session, and also covering LGBT Domestic Abuse, and Domestic Abuse Intervention Training.
The event was chaired by Tracey West, WAND Patron, who added: “One of the things this conference highlighted was the complexity of how Domestic Abuse is handled by the various agencies. I watched solutions take shape by people simply connecting and talking to each other. The victims of Domestic Abuse in Dorset will now receive better care as a result of it and I look forward to the day when the epidemic of Domestic Abuse is a piece of human history.”