THE DEVASTATING impact and scale of domestic abuse in the North-East was discussed at a conference on Thursday.
Experts from agencies and charities across the Tees Valley gathered in Stockton to explore the complex nature of abuse and share strategies and methods of tackling the issue.
Murder, sexual abuse, coercive control, elder abuse, forced marriage and female genital mutilation were among the subjects on the agenda of the Domestic Abuse Conference, staged at Preston Park.
The event, hosted by the Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Board, saw a number of people take to the floor to highlight areas of concern in the North-East.
Participants were also invited to watch a powerful performance of Rattlesnake, a production from award-winning company Open Clasp that has been used to train more than 300 police officers in matters related to coercive control.
Ann Baxter, independent chair of TSAB, said the event had been organised in a bid to increase the reporting of domestic abuse, particularly within marginalised and minority groups.
Ms Baxter said: “It is also important that we collectively improve prevention and early intervention strategies within domestic abuse and adult safeguarding and I am sure that this conference can help to shape local practice in achieving this.”
Speakers at the event included Richinda Taylor of Redcar-based EVA Women’s Aid, who has been instrumental in setting up the country’s only refuge for over-45s, and the Halo Project’s Yasmin Khan, who addressed issues relating to forced marriages and female genital mutilation.