Tackling Domestic Abuse Together - Annual Third Sector Conference Takes Place

Over 80 organisations were in attendance and discussed the latest developments in light of the passing of the Domestic Abuse Act and the current impact and challenges on the sector as a result of Covid 19.

“Together, we can do more to prevent the abuse from happening in the first place, and better support all those it affects.”

The words of the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, as she opened her ambitious event yesterday (17/11) to tackle domestic abuse and violence.

Speakers included Luke Hart, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe, the WomenCentre, Staying Put, Yorkshire Children’s Centre and the CARA Programme.

Over 80 organisations were in attendance and discussed the latest developments in light of the passing of the Domestic Abuse Act and the current impact and challenges on the sector as a result of Covid 19.

The annual Third Sector Conference aims to highlight important issues and more importantly promote partnership working.

West Yorkshire has a committed and vibrant sector, including not-for-profit voluntary and community organisations, faith-based groups and social enterprises. It encompasses national, regional, and very local organisations, all working to keep communities safe.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“Tackling domestic violence and abuse is a crucial part of fulfilling my pledge to keep women and girls safe.

“As the Domestic Abuse Commissioner raised during the event, local partnership working across our communities is essential if we are to effectively address it.

“We are lucky in West Yorkshire to have such a diverse mix of third sector organisations, all doing their upmost to keep our communities safe and confront these issues head on.

“Today was about understanding what more we can do together across the sector, to prevent incidents from happening, and getting the right support.

”Luke’s comments, for instance, were particularly insightful, as it underlined the need for services to truly listen to what victims want, which can sometimes differ from what we think they need.

“There are lots of avenues of support for victims here in West Yorkshire and I would encourage those affected by these issues to access them.

“We have to a state-of-the-art Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) facility, West Yorkshire Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service, Rape Crisis Centres and a range of mental health services, many of whom were represented at the event.”

Alison Lowe, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said:

“This was a really positive event and I believe all those who attended, left with new information and ideas.

“We heard how all victims, including children, develop their own coping mechanisms, often masking what is going on and don’t always see themselves as victims.

“It is vital that we all have the tools to respond to this and there is a clear requirement for more focussed work alongside the police and criminal justice partners to achieve better outcomes.

“Both the Mayor and I recognise long term funding is an issue. We are doing all we can to address that need, lobbying Government for a better deal for West Yorkshire.

“The new West Yorkshire Police and Crime Plan is currently being developed, in which women and girls’ safety will be a cross cutting theme.

“The Plan will aim to strengthen our partnership working across the different sectors through action, services, research, and a bold approach and will be launched in the new year.”