Posted on: 8 December 2023

CNWL held its sixth annual Domestic Abuse Conference on Thursday 7 December.

More than 530 people joined us online for some powerful, and at times harrowing, testimony from a wide range of speakers.

The theme for the day was ‘Windows of Opportunity’ and this was a thread that ran through the event.

The takeaway message for healthcare providers was clear: We need to take every opportunity we can to ask about domestic abuse. By doing this, we maximise the chances of catching perpetrators as early as possible.

Among the fantastic speakers was David Challen, who spoke about his mother, Sally, who was a victim of coercive domestic abuse at the hands of his father.

David described how he successfully campaigned to free his mother in a landmark case.

We also heard from Natasha Saunders, who told of her own shocking experiences in an abusive relationship.

Natasha reinforced the ‘Windows of Opportunity’ theme, saying that she wished that, just once, she was asked about her relationship during her numerous interactions with healthcare professionals.

Thanks also to our other guest speakers Anthea Sully, Professor Michael Flood, Amanda Warburton-Wynn, Peter Aitken, and Professor Louise Howard. Click here to see a profile for each speaker.

The conference was held during the White Ribbon Campaign – a period of protest against domestic violence.

Throughout the campaign, services across CNWL have been holding events and pledging to prioritise domestic abuse prevention.

Use the links below to see how different services have marked the White Ribbon Campaign.