The conference, entitled Learning from Survivors’ Voices, took place yesterday (THURS) at Tally Ho!, and was attended by more than 200 people, with speakers from West Midlands Police and experts from the consortium itself, which comprises a variety of groups that support victims and have extensive experience in tackling forced marriage and honour-based violence. Campaigner Jagdeesh Singh also spoke eloquently on the murder of his sister Surjeet Athwal by her husband and mother-in-law and what can be learned from his experience of seeking justice.
In total, the work of the consortium has reached more than 3,300 people in the past year through awareness-raising workshops, training in schools and sessions with professionals in the voluntary and statutory sectors.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “It is vital that we instil within the victims of these crimes a confidence to come forward for support, guidance and a safe and confidential space.
“The work the consortium does is essential in not only supporting victims but also raising awareness among children and young people.
“The conference was an informative and inspiring event, where best practice, learning experiences and incredible stories were shared. I was honoured to open the event and to continue to support West Midlands Domestic Violence Consortium.”
Nasheima Sheikh, Assistant Chief Executive of Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid, added: “We are enormously grateful for funding from the PCC that has enabled us to reach so many people and ensure that victims know who to turn to for support. This highly successful event shows the thirst for knowledge about FM and how important this issue is in the West.”
The agenda for the conference was as follows:
- Introduction by PCC David Jamieson.
- Issues on frontline delivery by Popinder Kaur from West Midlands Domestic Violence Consortium.
- Practical case work by Jagdeesh Singh.