A woman who was shot by her abusive husband will deliver a keynote speech at this year’s Merseyside Domestic Abuse Conference.
Rachel Williams survived years of domestic violence at the hands of her husband Darren before he gunned her down in her hair salon, weeks after they had separated.
She will address the conference at Liverpool’s Hilton Hotel on Thursday, May 18.
The multi-agency event, now in its third year, is organised by Morecrofts Solicitors and is designed to help abuse victims, parents, care providers, policy makers, academics and legal professionals share their experiences and ideas to tackle domestic abuse.
Delegates will also hear from leading family court judge Margaret De Haas QC regarding the latest changes in the law to tackle domestic abuse, alongside Dr Jane Monkton-Smith, criminology lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire, who trains police forces and other professionals in how to identify signs of non-physical abuse.
Rebecca Holland, domestic violence co-ordinator at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, will address delegates about the importance of safeguarding for women and children, while Mary Mullen from NYAS will provide an insight in how to communicate with children who have witnessed domestic abuse.
Jo-anne Lomax, a family law partner at Morecrofts Solicitors, which organises the conference, will also examine the dangers of stalking and assess the introduction of the government’s new stalking protection orders.
Domestic violence remains an endemic problem across the UK
Fellow Morecrofts partner Julie Waring, who will host the event, said: “Like any crime, the shape and nature of domestic abuse continues to evolve, presenting fresh challenges to the professional community which gives advice, care and protection to its victims.
“Rachel’s case is particularly shocking and demonstrates just how far some abusers will go to retain the emotional and physical control they exert over their victims.
“No matter what form it takes, domestic abuse has a harmful, destructive impact on countless lives in the UK and it’s vital that we continue to come together under one roof to discuss new ways of reducing its threat.
“The conference is now established as a highly useful recourse for charities, social workers, lawyers, teachers and various other agencies to help improve the processes that protect the victims and punish the perpetrators of domestic abuse.”
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