Overview

12 Oct, 20228:45 am-4:15 pm
Central London

Now in its 8th year, the Annual Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Forum will once again provide the opportunity to connect with peers and discuss the latest updates with sector leaders in tackling violence, abuse and harassment directed towards women and girls. This year’s event will continue to analyse the impact of COVID-19, particularly on domestic abuse, and considering how to recover from this, including by utilising new powers and opportunities afforded by the 2021 Domestic Abuse Act.

Finally given Royal Assent in April 2021, this long-awaited piece of legislation has broadened the legal definition of domestic abuse to include emotional, coercive or controlling behaviour, and economic abuse. With new support measures for victims and survivors, and additional powers for police including Domestic Abuse Protection Notices, this event will provide the opportunity to examine what such measures mean for different stakeholders involved in responding to and preventing VAWG, and discuss best practice joined-up working for a successful multi-agency approach.

Furthermore, with additional initiatives provided as part of the Tackling Violence Against Women Strategy, unveiled by the Home Office in July 2021 and further updated in November 2021, all stakeholders must be prepared to improve the criminal justice response to violence and abuse, while enhancing the quality of support for victims and survivors. Alongside this, the 2021-22 Snapshot Report from End Violence Against Women (EVAW) calls for strategic investment to end abuse, a multi-year, well-resourced public attitudes campaign to end VAWG, as well as far ranging reforms to the criminal justice system and more.

In spring 2022, the Government’s National Statement of Expectations for commissioning Violence Against Women and Girls services outlined a support package that includes a new cross-Government VAWG Strategy and Domestic Abuse Plan, new Domestic Abuse Statutory Guidance to be released later this year, as well as increasing Ministry of Justice (MoJ) funding for victims of crime, including victims of VAWG, to £185 million by 2024/25. The Statement highlights the expectation that local strategies and services put the victim/survivor at the centre of service design and delivery.

Join with colleagues at this Forum to plan the next steps for implementation, and explore how to improve your services and support.

Key Speakers

Rhys Hart photo
Rhys Hart
Head of Policy
Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s Office
Kate Davies CBE photo
Kate Davies CBE
Director of Health and Justice, Armed Forces and Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)
NHS England

Agenda

8:45 am
Registration, Refreshments and Networking
9:30 am
Chair’s Welcome Address
Doireann Larkin
Doireann Larkin
Development Manager, Tender Education & Arts
Lecturer in Understanding Domestic and Sexual Abuse, Goldsmiths, University of London
Invited
9:40 am
An Update from the Domestic Abuse Commissioner: Utilising New Powers and Implementing Government Strategy

This session will share updates since the passing of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 on the role of the Commissioner in using new powers to tackle wide ranging forms of abuse against women and girls, and how details of this Act align with and compliment the 2021 Home Office Tackling VAWG Strategy.

There will be reflections and next steps explored in light of moving beyond the initial impact of covid-19 lockdown periods on domestic abuse, and wider forms of violence and harassment.

Learn about how local authorities are to be held accountable for doing better for particularly vulnerable women and girls, considering approaches to safe accommodation provision and working with perpetrators to reduce existing and potential threat.

This session will include time for questions.

Rhys Hart
Rhys Hart
Head of Policy
Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s Office
Confirmed
10:10 am
NHS Update: A Health System Approach to Helping Tackle VAWG

This session will provide an insight on programmes and approaches in development and in use across the NHS to support the wider agenda to prevent and address violence against women and girls, including:

  • Local ‘pathfinder’ projects for enhanced trauma-informed mental health support for sexual abuse victims and survivors with the most complex needs
  • Working with the voluntary sector to meet tailored needs, including around specific issues such as FGM
  • Strengthening signposting to, and services delivered by, Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)

This session will include time for questions.

Kate Davies CBE
Kate Davies CBE
Director of Health and Justice, Armed Forces and Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)
NHS England
Confirmed
10:35 am
Successfully Utilising the Co-Ordinated Community Approach to Address and Prevent VAWG Across the Housing Sector
  • Understanding how local authorities and housing associations can use the CCR model to improve their responses to domestic abuse, collaborating with local agencies and organisations
  • Highlighting practical ways for service providers to enhance multi-agency support for survivors
  • Discussing how the CCR can help to hold abusers to account
  • Utilising the CCR to recover from the impact of COVID-19 on domestic abuse and VAWG more broadly

This session will include time for questions.

Gudrun Burnet
Gudrun Burnet
Co-founder, DAHA
CEO, Standing Together
Invited
11:00 am
Break, Refreshments and Networking
11:20 am
Practical Support for Enhancing Service Provision for Women and Girls

This session will share updates and insights into the ongoing work of Women’s Aid in improving access to quality services and tackling domestic abuse as well as wider forms of violence and harassment.

Key discussion points will include:

  • Learnings from Women Aid’s live data dashboards detailing referrals to local services following instances of domestic abuse and also routes to support
  • Next steps following the No Woman Turned Away project, to better help those experiencing financial hardship in seeking refuge space
  • Tackling the barriers to accessing services that immigration status can cause

This session will include time for questions.

Farah Nazeer
Farah Nazeer
CEO
Women’s Aid
Confirmed
11:45 am
NPCC VAWG Update: How Can Police Utilise Measures in the Domestic Abuse Act
  • Understand when and how Domestic Abuse Protection Notices will be used by police to provide immediate protection for victims from abusers
  • Learn how police can further strengthen partnership working with other agencies working to tackle domestic abuse including in education, probation, health and social care and housing
  • Examine how police can respond to the broadened definition of domestic abuse to help prevent and tackle controlling and coercive behaviour, and also improve first-responder support for children witnessing domestic abuse

This session will include time for questions.

Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth
Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth
National Police Lead for Violence Against Women and Girls
National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC)
Invited
12:10 pm
Learning from Victims and Survivors: How You Can Improve Your Service Provision

This session will provide insights and recommendations from a survivor of abuse on how agencies delivering vital support services can enhance delivery to ensure better inclusivity, less trauma for the service user, and a more tailored approach to meeting individual needs and experiences.

Hear from one woman working to influence the narrative around violence and abuse as a SafeLives Pioneer, and consider what you can learn today to improve the support you deliver tomorrow.

This session will include time for questions.

Shana Begum
Shana Begum
Abuse Survivor and Pioneer
SafeLives
Confirmed
12:40 pm
Lunch and Networking
1:40 pm
Panel Discussion: Local Authority Approaches to Preventing and Addressing VAWG

Following a brief introduction, panellists will explore the key discussion points below. Delegates will be invited to raise questions and comments throughout for the panel to respond to.

  • Exploring practical local authority-led strategies to addressing and preventing VAWG, working towards successful strategic partnerships co-produced with all stakeholders
  • Sharing insights into working with perpetrators to change attitudes as well as ensure victims and survivors experience justice, and how to work with police and voluntary sector organisations
  • How local authorities can work with children and young people to encourage prevention and awareness from an early age, and actively promote gender equality as a route to tackling violence and harassment
  • Discussing regional approaches to tackling VAWG, including how local authorities can align priorities while ensuring tailored strategies
  • Highlighting partnership-working to identify gaps in service provision and consistently evaluate how and where improvements can be made
Councillor Jacqui Dyer
Councillor Jacqui Dyer
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Community Safety
Lambeth Council
Invited
Neal Cockerton
Neal Cockerton
Chief Executive
Flintshire County Council
Invited
Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor
Chair
Safer Wolverhampton Partnership
Invited
2:20 pm
Making Women Safer Online: Exploring the Code of Practice

This session will outline key elements of the Violence Against Women and Girls Code of Practice, developed in partnership with a wide range of expert organisations and key stakeholders, and will highlight how the guidance can be used to keep women and girls safer online, and how the guidance will evolve alongside the Online Safety Bill.

Andrea Simon
Andrea Simon
Director
End VAW
Invited
2:45 pm
Refreshments Break and Networking
3:05 pm
Ensuring Representation for Black and Minority Ethnic Women and Girls Across Agencies Addressing Abuse
  • Outlining the Black and Minoritised Women’s Anti-Racism Feministo for the Ending Violence Against Women’s Sector, and what key services and agencies can take from this to improve local approaches
  • Learning about the inclusive research methods of Imkaan, which help explore nuanced experiences to ensure all girls and women’s voices are heard in the tackling VAWG sector
  • Highlighting key policy concerns including housing, health and socio-economic inequalities, how these intersect with VAWG, and how agencies and services providers can ensure consideration of such issues in their approaches and strategies

This session will include time for questions.

Sumanta Roy
Sumanta Roy
Head of Research and Development
Imkaan
Invited
3:35 pm
Moving Towards a New Reality for Women and Girls

This session will provide an update on the activities and ambitions of the Reclaim These Streets movement, working to “use legislation, education and community action to ensure no woman has to be asked to ‘text me when you get home’ again”.

Access an update on the progress in fundraising for this movement, how the team are working with ROSA to ensure effective spending, and what more can be done to ensure safe streets for all through collaboration and partnership-working.

This session will include time for questions.

Jamie Klingler
Jamie Klingler
Co-Founder
Reclaim These Streets
Invited
4:00 pm
Chair’s Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change

Pricing