Friday 14th July saw close to 150 people gather at Norwich City Football Club for Leeway’s Annual Conference 2017. This year’s theme was “The impact of domestic abuse on children and young people.” A series of excellent guest lecturers talked about the impact that witnessing or experiencing domestic abuse can have upon this vulnerable section of our community. The day included a moving performance from Lancashire-based theatre troupe, Certain Curtain.
The speakers came from a range of professional backgrounds. They included:
• Aneeta Prem: The founder of Freedom Charity, an organisation working to support people who have experienced or are in danger of experiencing forced marriage, dishonour based violence and female genital mutilation.
• Amna Abdullatif: Children and Young People’s Officer for Women’s Aid.
• David Ashcroft: Independent Chair of the Norfolk Safeguarding Board.
• Katharine Bundell: A barrister specialising in Family Law.
• Peter Hornby and Alix Wright: Norfolk Constabulary.
In addition to these speakers, Min Grob, a childhood domestic abuse survivor, told her story of overcoming the trauma of childhood domestic abuse as she moved into her adult life.
The conference was opened by ITV News Arts editor and Leeway patron, Nina Nannar, who talked about the work that we do. She touched on our work helping people in our refuges and in the community – citing the importance of raising awareness of domestic abuse so that people can access help either for themselves or others. Nina said:
“This is a really important issue that we need to encourage people to talk about. Leeway has seen a 27% increase in demand for services, which is quite a staggering statistic. The team at Leeway put in a lot of hard work and I feel very privileged to be a Patron, and I hope we can continue to raise awareness of domestic abuse through events like this.”
Mandy Proctor, Chief Executive of Leeway, said:
“I am delighted to see so many people at our conference from many professional backgrounds and involved with a very important subject matter. I want to thank all our guest speakers, they had some powerful and moving speeches and also the theatre company for making this an excellent day, and I hope that it has been informative for all attendees.”
We hope that the success of our Annual Conference, which was attended by representatives from local schools and youth groups, will go some way towards raising awareness of the huge impact that domestic abuse has on children and young people.
Thanks to all of our speakers for giving up their time to attend the conference, our partners, staff and volunteers for organising the event, and to all those who attended.
Leeway’s specialist domestic abuse support services are available in the Norfolk and Waveney regions of East Anglia. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, or have concerns about someone else, call our support line on 0300 561 0077 for confidential advice.
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