Our 2017 Annual conference took place on 7th March in Swindon (see agenda and presentations further below).
Three family members gave testimony to the incredibly difficult journeys their families are still on, following the loss of their loved ones to domestic homicide. One spoke of the continuing stress as the perpetrator comes up for release. Another talked of how shoddy treatment by state agencies had compounded their distress after homicide and another talked of the extraordinary next of kin rights that the perpetrator of domestic homicide still held after conviction.
The illustrious singer-songwriter-harpist Hattie Webb, who performed with Leonard Cohen in over 400 concerts, gave a magical and moving musical performance during the conference. Hattie was supported by sound engineer Marcel Van Limbeek.
Professor Evan Stark spoke about abuse being not just physical but about the deprivation of the basic liberties and dignity and autonomy through hostage like forms of coercion and control. He also spoke about how families suffer coercive control from agencies, after the domestic homicides.
Karen Ingala Smith, CEO of nia, alerted us to the inequality and misogyny faced by older women.
The CEO of AAFDA, Frank Mullane, called for the raising of the status of families of victims of homicide. Why not equalise the advocacy power of statutory bodies and families, at inquests, by getting the statutory bodies to share their legal funds budget with the families? After all, the inquest is a fact finding exercise and both parties having legal representation would make it more likely that the facts are revealed. There is obviously no extra cost to the public purse since Coroners should be able to require this sharing of existing legal fund budgets.”
Wounds and love side by side at a conference
Whose daughters were hunted and slain they show despair.
Recounting stories positively ruinous.
But music strikes up, all chairs wearing people now.
It’s palpably pulchritudinous
What life term in prison is not for the guilty.
The killer’s soon freed because of our humanness.
But music heals so, the surgery is full now.
It’s heavenly pulchritudinous
Whose lives were blighted are now rising again.
Reborn in joy not fear that once grew in us.
Oh harpist sublime. No ticket required now.
Yet movingly pulchritudinous
It’s love that did it, like Berhman’s last leaf.
Giving us the hope thus far eluding us.
Play it again please, effects never less’ning.
How wonderfully pulchritudinous.
What fought us constrained us, but chains are undone now.
The liberty restoring the hue in us.
Bye now, come again, song giver please vow.
Its soothingly pulchritudinous.
Download the presentations and other conference materials below.