TACKLING SEXUAL VIOLENCE CONFERENCE A HUGE SUCCESS
Over 1000 people attended Dorset’s first Tackling Sexual Violence Conference, which was held at Poole Lighthouse on Thursday 5th March 2015.
Funded by the Office of The Police and Crime Commissioner, and organised by the Safer Poole Partnership, the conference included stories, films and poems from a group of local survivors.
Speakers included Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, Commander Pete Spindler from the Metropolitan Police and Assistant Chief Constable of Dorset Police, David Lewis.
One attendee at the conference said: “An incredible conference that gave a voice to survivors of sexual violence. Powerful and above all empowering.”
Two survivors bravely shared their experiences of being groomed, and ultimately sexually abused, and highlighted the need for adults to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors surrounding victims of abuse, and to examine the reasons why young people’s behaviours may suddenly change.
The final speaker, Jennifer Holly gave a powerful presentation about the effects of abuse, and its correlation with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, emphasising the similarities between symptoms used to diagnose mental health conditions, and PSTD, and posing the question that many women may be misdiagnosed.
If you have experienced sexual violence, or if you know someone who has, there are organisations that can help:
- Dorset Rape Crisis: 01202 308840 (office hours), or visit: dorsetrapecrisis.org.
- Dorset Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC): 0845 519 8638.
- In an emergency – if a crime is in progress or life is in danger – call 999.