Last Thursday we held our first BDAP professionals event “Myth busting Beliefs and Stereotypes of Domestic Abuse”. We prepared the room, ordered the biscuits, hooked up the power points in council chambers at Priory House and nervously waited to see how many of the delegates we’d invited actually arrived. All in all 80 delegates from a range of statutory and voluntary settings attended. It was really inspiring to see so many people from so many different agencies together in one room all wanting to learn more about Domestic Abuse.
Our first speaker Jo Neale, was from the University of Bedford, she gave a really interesting talk on the myths and stereotypes that prevail in domestic abuse. She provided a list of further research and reading at the end of her talk. It was really informative and offered a great opportunity to reflect on what we know and what we think we know about Domestic Abuse.
Then we changed direction completely, the wonderful Spaniel in the Works visited and performed a short monologue from the perspective of a domestic abuse survivor. It was a powerful and compelling performance which bought the perspective and focus of the morning squarely back to the victim and their lived experience.
After a short break Central Bedfordshire’s Jayne Foster gave a rundown on some of the predominant findings to come out of a large piece of local research by Safer Lives into the experiences of families (victims, perpetrators and children) impacted by domestic abuse and their feedback on the subsequent involvement with professionals. Jayne linked aspects of this in with more wider reaching national research, giving a really good sense of what works and what isn’t working for the family’s we work with.
Finally we heard about Clare’s Law from Bedfordshire police. They gave us an insight into Clare’s story, how Clare’s law came about and then gave us an overview of how we can use and incorporate into our daily working practice.
There was opportunity for questions at the end and what was lovely was listening to the conversations going on at every table afterwards, before everyone had to leave to get back to their respective offices or visits. It felt like everyone who attended left with a little more knowledge than they arrived with and had been given the opportunity to reflect a little on their own skills, knowledge and practice. We really hope this was the case and are looking forward to hosting our next professional’s event later in the year.
If you have any feedback on the event, or have any ideas for future topics you would like us to cover or would like to attend future events please let us know at BDAP@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk