PCC to host Domestic Violence summit


Merseyside Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has united with a range of Christian organisations to host a pan-Merseyside Domestic Abuse summit.

Merseyside Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has united with a range of Christian organisations to host a pan-Merseyside Domestic Abuse summit.

The event, being held at Liverpool Cathedral’s Lady Chapel tomorrow (Friday, November 29th) aims to raise awareness of domestic violence in the region and improve provision for survivors.

The summit is a joint initiative by the Commissioner, the Josephine Butler Memorial Trust, Liverpool Cathedral, the Diocesan Council for Social Aid, Mothers’ Union and Church and Society.

The day will involve workshops, displays, personal testimonies from survivors of abuse and the sharing of good practice as to how domestic violence can be eliminated from our communities. Key note speaker at the event is former Attorney General and Prisons Minister, Baroness Scotland.

The event will also be used to launch an innovative new strategy created by the Merseyside Criminal Justice Board, which Jane Kennedy chairs. Reducing Domestic Violence and Abuse is a Merseyside-wide strategy that aims to ensure a consistent and quality service is provided for all victims.

Merseyside Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “"Domestic abuse is an issue that still largely remains behind closed doors. We need to bring this crime into the spotlight and break down the silence within our communities.

“This summit is a real opportunity to do just that. It will provide a forum to talk about the issue, share work that has made a real difference and increase awareness among victims of the help and support that is available. These are crucial steps in breaking the cycle of abuse that has pervaded our communities for far too long with untold, long-lasting effects on victims and their children.

“I want all survivors of domestic violence to know if they contact the police or any other agency they will be listened to, believed and understood. In this day and age, nobody should be suffering in silence. I want to send out a clear message that violence in the home is never acceptable.”

Since taking office, the Commissioner has dedicated much time to working with organisations and agencies that support victims. Through the Merseyside Criminal Justice Board she has been able to unite independent criminal justice agencies, such as the courts, prosecutors, probation service and the prisons, local authorities and youth offending teams, with the community and voluntary sector to support their work with survivors of domestic violence. The new strategy devised by the Board is one way in which she will work closely with Merseyside Police to ensure victims in the region are fully protected and supported.

Jane Kennedy added: “I want all agencies to work together to ensure victims are put at the very heart of the criminal justice system. We cannot let services slip or vulnerable people fall between the gaps. It is by continuing to listen closely to victims, treating them more humanely and working with them that we can provide the best level of care while giving them greater prominence in the criminal justice system.”