Expert counsellors today urged everyone from medical professionals to mental health therapists and businesses – especially those offering personal services – to register for a thought-provoking conference aimed at tackling the scourge of domestic abuse.

Lincoln’s Naomi Watkins Counselling Hub (NWCH CIC) has partnered with Pepperells Solicitors and Boston Women’s Aid (SoLDAS) to create an unmissable online event featuring high-profile speakers and four in-depth workshops.

Supporting Domestic Abuse Awareness takes place on Saturday 27th November 2021, from 10am to 2.30pm, via Zoom. It will explore various forms of abuse, highlight ways of recognising these and discuss what can be done to prevent injury and save lives.

NWCH CIC Chief Executive, Naomi Watkins-Ligudzinska, said,

“This topic has never been more important. During the first seven weeks of Coronavirus lockdown, domestic abuse cases rose by 100 per cent. Every week women and men still die at the hands of abusive partners. Awareness of domestic abuse is growing, which is good news. However, this issue now needs an urgent response. It has reached crisis proportions and domestic violence has the power to destroy whole families.”

“The protracted Coronavirus has made matters worse, by keeping domestic violence firmly hidden behind closed doors. We believe health professionals and businesses – particularly hair and beauty salons, massage centres and nail technicians, where customers tend to chat freely – will find this event helpful.”

The father of brothers, Luke and Ryan Hart, devastatingly shot dead their mother and sister (Claire and Charlotte) in Spalding. The brothers have become domestic abuse advocates and international keynote speakers. Luke Hart will be the headline speaker for this conference.

Abuse survivor, and now phenomenally successful businesswoman, Dani Wallace, is living proof there is hope for better times in the wake of abuse.

Lori Busch from the charity, ManKind, will share how men are the forgotten victims of domestic abuse.

Make a Change, which works with perpetrators of abuse at an early stage, will be talking about how to support people who are concerned about using abusive behaviour in their relationships.  

Workshops are being hosted by NWCH CIC, SoLDAS and Pepperells Solicitors.

Boston Women’s Aid (SoLDAS) has been delivering its domestic abuse service across South Lincolnshire since 1987. It is a member of the Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Delivery Group and Women’s Aid Federation of England (WAFE).

Boston Women’s Aid funding and communication officer Lucy Watts said,

“The charity is embedded within the community and works collaboratively with local organisations, including businesses, local authorities and the Third Sector.

“SoLDAS supports people to make their own choices, giving them the skills to have confidence in their own ability, supporting them with advice when asked, accompanying them to appointments and being there for victims when they need our support.”

Pepperells Solicitors has offices in Lincoln, Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Hull, and has thrown its expertise behind the conference. Lincoln Business Development Manager, Clare Williams said,

“We are delighted to be involved and supporting NWCH and SoLDAS in raising awareness of this particularly important topic.

“The team at Pepperells is aware of how domestic abuse can affect so many people and how important it is to be able to access information, support and legal help. This conference will provide tools for so many people in Lincolnshire and further afield.

Workshop 1: Signs and symptoms of DA in the therapy room

Naomi Watkins-Ligudzinska will talk about the impact of domestic abuse on individuals who have experienced or are still experiencing this and how to work with them.

Workshop 2: Pepperells: Family & Criminal Law

Navigating the Family Court and Criminal Justice System as a victim or witness, support with funding and cutting through the jargon, what it all means and why.

Workshop 3: SoLDAS: Let’s Talk About Domestic Abuse

This workshop aims to help people to be more confident in holding that tricky conversation when someone discloses or hints that their relationship may not be a healthy one. What to say, what not to say, what if we don’t say anything?

Workshop 4

Employers/Employees and HR Hear from corporate law and hr experts on topics for business owners, directors and employees who are experiencing or navigating challenging conversations in the workplace    

Conference access costs £50 (businesses/professionals). Discounted places are available on request (low-income delegates). Bookings can be made on Eventbrite.