Speakers


Rachel Williams

After 18 years in an abusive relationship, Rachel was shot and severely injured by her violent partner in 2011. He then committed suicide, as did her 16 year old son Jack, shortly after the attack.

Rachel spent several weeks in hospital and now lives with life altering injuries.

Rachel is an Ambassador for Welsh Women’s Aid, The Freedom Programme, Threshold DAS and a SafeLives Pioneer.

She campaigns tirelessly and is committed to ending domestic abuse. She has 4 successful petitions on change.org with a combined 1/2 million signatures. A qualified IDVA,

Rachel also runs an online awareness Facebook page called Don’t Look Back. Her ambition includes to set up the ‘House that Jack Built’ a children and young person’s refuge and place of safety, in memory of her son.

Mark Drakeford

First Minister

Michael Sheen

Actor, Activist and Ambassador

Chris Jones

Gwr,tad i 4,perchennog ci, cyflwynydd tywydd. Fy sylwadau i YN UNIG!

Weather presenter,radio presenter, Awards & conference host, MC & speaker. 

LAURA RICHARDS BSC, MSC. MBPSS

Award winning and world-renowned criminal behavioural analyst and advocate who worked for a decade at New Scotland Yard as Head of the Homicide Prevention Unit and Head of the Violent Crime Intelligence and Analysis Unit.

Laura founded Paladin, National Stalking Advocacy Service, following the success of the stalking law reform campaign. Laura spearheaded the Domestic Violence Law Reform campaign, which resulted in the offence of coercive control being introduced in 2015.  Laura has won numerous awards for her campaigning, advocacy and analytical work to better protect victims.

Laura is author of the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and Honour Based Abuse Risk Model (www.dashriskmodel.co.uk) and Oxford University Press book 'Policing Domestic Violence.’

Laura was consulting producer on ‘Dirty John, the Dirty Truth,’ co-creator and executive producer of “The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey” on CBS, “The Case of: Caylee Anthony” on Oxygen and host of the Netflix series ‘Killer in the Family.

Laura is co-creator and co-host of the double award winning podcast, Real Crime Profile, and has a golden doodle puppy called Beatrice.

Pat Craven

Pat Craven is the creator of the Freedom Programme and author of the bestselling book Living with the Dominator and Freedoms Flowers a book about the effects of male violence on children.

Between 1986 and 2002 she was employed as a probation officer. From 1996 to 1998 she worked in the specialist field of providing programmes for male perpetrators of violence against women. During that time, she became aware that there were no mechanisms in place to pass the information she gained about such men to the women they were involved with. So, in 1999 she wrote the first Freedom Programme for women.

In 2002 she left the probation service to become a full-time self-employed trainer. Since then she has trained thousands of police, social workers, solicitors, refuge workers, prison officers and family workers to facilitate the Freedom Programme.

In 2008 she wrote Living with the Dominator and The Freedom Programme Home Study Course for women who cannot get to a Freedom Programme. The course is now also available online for women survivors and for men who want to improve their behaviour.

The Freedom Programme is now used in schools for teenage students and has now been adapted for use with children of primary school age. There is a home study course for men and our trainers are available to provide courses for men who want to improve their behaviour.

At the present time we know of about 300 UK providers of the Freedom Programme including several local authorities. Pat Craven now lives in Powys and employs trainers to train new facilitators. Those trainers use their fees to provide Freedom Programmes in Lancashire, Leicestershire and Suffolk.

Nina Malik

A survivor of domestic abuse and violence Nina now raises awareness of the Freedom Programme as a vital recovery and information tool for all women, and how different institutional structures continue abuse of vulnerable women and their children.

Previously having gained success academically and professionally & now navigating life as a survivor and lone parent.

As a British Muslim, & mum to a young son, she also raises awareness of toxic masculinity & identity of men which culminates in VAWG within religion.

Luke Hart

On 19th July 2016, Claire and Charlotte Hart were murdered in broad daylight by the family's father using a sawn-off shotgun. He then committed suicide.

Luke and Ryan Hart, the two surviving sons now openly share their story to raise awareness of coercive and controlling behaviour. So far, they have trained police officers, police community officers, NHS personnel and legal professionals in the Crown Prosecution Service. They are White Ribbon Ambassadors and Refuge Champions, speaking out against male violence towards women and children.

They have released their book Remembered forever, telling their story and challenging myths and stereotypes surrounding domestic abuse and coercive control.

Lynn Smillie

Having experienced a background of childhood abuse and domestic violence within the family home and then witnessing our mother being killed from Domestic Homicide by my father in 1983, Lynn made a vow to our mother after she died that she would do something, one day, to make sure other women and children would not experience what we went through. 

Today as they have sought much recovery in their own life and Lynn having worked with the general public since aged 16, specifically helping other vulnerable women in the community for the last 15 years, and Julie making so many changes to her own life through attending and working with ’The Freedom programme’ we couldn’t keep this recovery to ourselves! 
 
We have combined my personal experiences, passion and frustrations into No Feart to empower individuals to believe that they too can make a change in their home, life, family and communities.

Saskia Ritchie

Introducing Monkey Bob

The Do You Feel What I Feel Toolkit is a safety planning toolkit aimed at pre-school children.

Based around a central character of Bob, a rainbow sock monkey, with a supporting cast of friends and family, the toolkit is designed to help children to understand three core messages:

  1. It is never OK for anyone to hurt or frighten you
  2. It is always OK to tell a safe grown up if you are upset or afraid
  3. It is always OK to keep yourself safe

The toolkit has a range of activities to help children to identify and talk about feelings, identify safe grown-ups and support networks, and explore different scenario’s.

The feelings activities, Monkey Bob family and stories are particularly helpful when supporting mothers and their children who have experienced domestic abuse. In Cheshire the toolkit is used in all pre-school settings and many primary schools as well as being a core element of our Even Better Families work.

Saskia Ritchie is the CEO of Cheshire Without Abuse and will be sharing how the tools are used with the families they support.

Jo Silver and Michelle Phillips

Director and Head of Practice
Safe Lives

Becky O'brien

Becky is best known for her performance in the TV show Britain's Got Talent, where she wowed the judges with her heart felt rendition of "Over The Rainbow".

Simon Cowell said " Your voice is beautiful, so authentic, it was just so emotional. This is why we love making this show, is to find people like you!"

Dame Vera Baird

Victims Commissioner

For the past four years I have been  the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ national lead for  supporting victims. As Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, where I commissioned victims’ services, I launched a local Victim’s Advisory Group and I’m proud to say that with their help, our service has a 98%  satisfaction rate. 

My first-hand experience of our criminal justice system, as a QC and as a Government Minister, in the MoJ and as a Solicitor General ensures that I can speak directly to partners who matter in a voice that will be heard 

I have already asked for and got  membership of the Criminal Justice Board, where Ministers and heads of criminal justice agencies take key decisions and where they MUST hear from victims.

But I am especially proud to work with victims.

I want to hear first-hand of your experiences, about reality on the ground.

Our justice system only works when it delivers justice to both victim and offender. 

And justice for victims needs their voice to be heard. 

I am the Victims’ Commissioner who is on your side. 

Dr Jane Monckton Smith

Forensic Criminologist and prize winning author specialising in homicide. Her wider body of work is acknowledged as having strong societal impact and influence.

She is currently working at the University of Gloucestershire as a Senior Lecturer in Criminology.

In addition to academic work she maintains a wide portfolio of professional and case work. This includes Chairing statutory Domestic Homicide Reviews, advising panels and investigations on complex and high profile murders, advising and training professionals in threat and risk assessment, and working with organisations like the Police, and the National Probation Service in developing policy and practice.

She also helps families bereaved through homicide with various criminal justice processes, through her work with charitable organisations.

Her latest work tracks the journey to intimate partner homicide through an eight stage sequence.

Chris Ashton

Chris Ashton is a highly skilled professional consultant for the Freedom Programme and other Domestic violence and abuse services.

Chris has provided bespoke domestic abuse training throughout the UK and Ireland for a range of agencies. Chris is one of a handful of professionals who specialise in men’s programmes.

With over 30 years experience, Chris Ashton is an expert in her field and is in great demand for her services.

Clare Walker

Clare Walker is a Domestic Abuse Consultant with a unique in-depth 360-degree view and understanding of domestic abuse.

Clare has worked in various roles in social care settings starting as a volunteer and successfully transferring her hospitality management & training executive skills into social care management roles. In this context Clare designed and set up many projects locally and was also involved in developing national strategic practice development and guidance with various academic, governmental and regulatory, strategic national bodies, such as Department of Health, Community Care, Social Care Institute for Excellence, Working Together Network, Norah Fry Institute, Joseph Rowntree Trust, Parental Mental Health and Child Welfare Network.

In 2003 Clare set up the 1st Freedom Programme victims support group in Leicester which she stillruns. Clare is one of 5 Licensed trainers of the Freedom Programme and has been training professionals in the model as well as all things domestic abuse related, UK wide since 2006 to professionals in health, social care, education, military, law and law enforcement sectors.Clare is a Visiting Lecturer at various Universities since 2006.

Clare set up her own company; Clare Walker Consultancy 2011. She is an Expert Witness representing victims going through Court processes UK wide. And has developed training on identifying & evidencing coercive control.

This year she has been focusing on the issues when spiritual abuse is used as an aspect of domestic abuse – from any faith context. Clare has also been working on identifying the links between misogyny, domestic abuse, radicalisation and terrorism. Clare is a trained Domestic Homicide Review Chair and was proud to receive the 2017 Award from the Crown Prosecution Service & Her Majesty’s Court & Tribunal Service.

ZOE DRONFIELD

Zoe Dronfield is a mother, business women, a professional and a survivor of domestic violence in that order. Zoe refuses to be defined by her journey although is compelled to make changes for the future for others and her children.

Her professional expertise allowed her to see how flawed that system is after being catapulted into the criminal and family justice system in 2014. Two very stark contrasts and Zoe wants to highlight the impact the system has on victims going through this at their most vulnerable time.

Zoe is calling for an #openfamilycourt not to the public but highlights the need for transparency and accountability in the family judiciary. She also campaigns using #serialregisterneeded and highlights how serial abusers are getting away with it time and time again. Her own story highlights how perpetrators are giving a platform and the victims are the forgotten in a system which looks at incidents in isolation meaning the severity and risk of offending is minimised.

Zoe has done many media appearances, conference talks, education in colleges, help groups and implores you to follow her and back her campaigns for change. She has a group supporting mothers and victims of domestic violence going through the family court system IWMM. She says there is a real skewed view of survivors in family court and this needs to change.

David Challen

Domestic Violence Campaigner

David successfully campaigned to free his mother Sally Challen in a landmark case recognising coercive control this year.

Freedom Programme Ambassador and Prison Advice and Care Trust Ambassador.


Stand up to Domestic Abuse 2019