SETDAB Conference 2023: a day of inspiration and collaboration

The Southend Essex & Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board (SETDAB) would like to thank everyone who attended the SETDAB conference on Friday 24 November, including the speakers and stall holders.  There was great representation from all services and the collective effort made the day both inspiring and motivational.

Uniting together for change

The conference marked the start of the UN Women 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, a global movement to end violence against women.  Support was also shown for White Ribbon Day, a global movement of men and boys working to end male violence against women and girls.

Ruth Tansey – lived experience 

Ruth Tansey, in a brave and moving presentation, shared her personal journey from being a domestic abuse victim to becoming a survivor. Her story included the lifechanging support she received from Next Chapter and the critical role they played in supporting her path to recovery, along with support from the Self Help Addiction Recovery Programme (SHARP) and Essex Recovery Foundation.

Domestic abuse in later life

With high levels of domestic homicide in older demographics it was good to hear from Rebecca Zerk from Aberystwyth University and Professor Sarah Wydall from Swansea University. They shared their research undertaken with Dewis Choice which captures the voice of older people, focusing on their wants and needs regarding domestic abuse services. The animation ‘Hidden Harms’ was also viewed for awareness and understanding.

Coercive control and young people

We were grateful to hear from Carole Gould, mother of Ellie Gould who was coercively controlled and tragically murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Carole is campaigning to change the minimum sentence for domestic homicide, and shared a public consultation on sentencing which is soon due to be published, many at the conference were keen to support this change. Her story underscored the vital importance of raising awareness about healthy relationships among younger people.

The Essex Youth Service also shared some of the work they have being doing in collaboration with young people from Goodman and Sisters in Strength, to help encourage healthy relationships. A new animation for young people will be launched soon to amplify key messages.

Male victims of domestic abuse

Finally, Lee Marks  author of the book ‘Break the Silence’, shared his research and personal experiences related to male victims of domestic abuse.  His presentation opened up essential conversations regarding support for male victims, challenging stereotypes and highlighting the importance of inclusivity in addressing domestic abuse.

Closing remarks

Andy Mariner, Assistant Chief Constable, Essex Police, and Vice Chair of SETDAB closed the conference raising the importance and value of continuing to work in partnership to tackle domestic abuse in all its forms, working together to create a safer and more supportive environment for all.

Once again, thank you to all who participated and contributed to making the SETDAB conference a meaningful and impactful experience.