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First Peterborough domestic abuse and sexual violence conference is a success

28 June 2023

Last week, Peterborough held its first domestic abuse and sexual violence conference at the Allia Future Business Centre.

Professionals and volunteers from across the district were invited to learn more about how they can support people subjected to domestic abuse and sexual violence and the range of services available.

Over 180 people attended from a range of organisations to hear speakers including Peterborough Women’s Aid who shared details of their new services – including a new support service for male victims - and Peterborough Rape Crisis Centre talking about how they support survivors of sexual violence in a trauma informed way.

The conference heard a moving presentation from Sharon Livermore from Domestic Abuse Education who spoke about her experiences as a survivor and how it led to her setting up her own organisation to train employers on how they can support staff subjected to domestic abuse. She also developed ‘Sharon’s Policy – a template that employers can access and share that has had wide acclaim. Sharon works with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership to offer free online awareness sessions for employers about their responsibilities to employees.

The conference was opened by Rob Hill, Service Director for Peterborough City Council who introduced: Youth MP Eva Woods who is leading the development of a VAWG Commission for Peterborough. Eva spoke about the impact of domestic abuse and how a multi-agency approach in Plymouth has benefitted the community and how it could be replicated in Peterborough.

Eva Woods, Peterborough Youth MP, said: "I am immensely proud of the success of the first Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Conference. It was a powerful gathering of professionals and volunteers committed to supporting survivors and raising awareness about these critical issues. The conference highlighted the importance of a collaborative approach and inspired us to explore new strategies to address domestic abuse and sexual violence in our community.

“Together, we can make a real difference and create a safer future for everyone in Peterborough."

Cllr Lynne Ayres, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education, Skills and University, said: “"I am incredibly proud of the resounding success and heightened awareness generated by the First Peterborough domestic abuse and sexual violence conference.

“It provided a platform for survivors, experts, and concerned citizens to share their experiences, insights, and solutions, fostering a sense of solidarity and determination to combat domestic abuse and sexual violence in our city. The level of engagement and participation demonstrated the urgent need for continued efforts in prevention, education, and support services.”

If you would like to learn more about any of the topics covered by the conference, please visit: