The theme of this year’s annual Medway conference was ‘Getting to grips with Coercive and Controlling behaviour’ and was held at the Corn exchange in Rochester on 7 December.
During the conference we heard about what coercive and controlling behaviour is, with victims’ stories to illustrate this and how such behaviour impacts on the victim in relation to their sense of safety, identity, autonomy and self-esteem.
Kent Police highlighted the legislation ‘Serious Crime Act 2015’ and their response to coercive and controlling behaviour. It is vital that the victim gives their consent and engages in the process to progress.
There is specialist support available and a multi-agency response is vital to enable the victim to develop a safety plan, recognise they have choices, amplify their voices and promote the victim’s autonomy.
Medway Soroptimists are regular supporters of this event and three of the members were responsible for providing refreshments for the 150 people attending.
Supplies of tea, coffee, milk, sugar and biscuits that included Fairtrade items were kindly donated by the Co-op Community Fund. Proceeds from the sale of the refreshments were donated to the Medway Domestic Abuse Forum (MDAF) Emergency Flight Fund. This fund helps victims at points of crisis and usually when leaving a relationship.