VAMHN'S ECR BURSARY WINNER pj annand DISCUSSES their ATTENDANCE AT THE "Domestic Abuse Digital Conference 2022" CONFERENCE
Have a read below to see what our ECR bursary winner PJ Annand did with their award money.
As an early-career researcher working in the field of violence, abuse and mental health, I was thrilled to receive a VAMHN Early Career Bursary to attend the Domestic Abuse Digital Conference 2022. The event brought together a range of speakers and delegates from across the sector to discuss key topics related to domestic abuse, including the implementation of new elements of the Domestic Abuse Act, improving multi-agency responses, and working with and for marginalised and minorities communities.
The conference was chaired by Donna Covey CBE, Chief Executive of AVA (Against Violence and Abuse) and included a range of experts and practitioners from different sectors. These included Roy Wilsher OBE, Lead for Domestic Abuse at HM Inspector of Constabulary and HM Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services, and Georgia Gabriel-Hooper, a domestic violence campaigner with lived experience. There were also representatives from organizations such as NHS England, Stonewater Housing, and Birmingham LGBT.
Attending the conference was an incredibly valuable experience. It provided an opportunity to hear from a range of experts in the field. I was particularly interested in learning about efforts to ensure equal protections and support for migrant survivors, LGBTQ+ survivors, Black and minoritised survivors, Deaf and disabled survivors, and survivors who are neurodiverse. I found discussions on why and how we need to improve the justice system in order to better support survivors through the courts process to be particularly instructive. I was also pleased to see that the conference provided an opportunity to learn from lived experience and hear directly from survivors of domestic abuse.
As such, the VAMHN Early Career Bursary provided me with the opportunity to gain vital insight into a range of experiences across and within services, current policy issues, and proposed strategies for change. In fact, the conference served as inspiration for policy activities I delivered thereafter as part of the CANVAS Project, a study I lead on with colleagues at King’s College London. I believe that attending events like these is crucial for early-career researchers in the sector, as they provide a chance to learn about new developments and best practice, and to connect with – and be inspired by – other professionals working to end domestic abuse.