Our team headed to Islington's Violence against Women and Girls conference on 28 November. Our Founder and CEO Abi shares her experience of the day:
It was so great to get back to our roots and kick off 16 Days of Activism with our partners and friends in Islington Council on Monday. Thanks to the Islington VAWG team for inviting me to speak at their conference, focused on young people and domestic violence.
I spoke about our work with young women and girls in Islington and across London, and the intersection where criminal exploitation and DV meet. We know from our work that this overlap of experiences creates multiple challenges for accessing support and exacerbates complex and networked risks for young women. Compounding this is the added layer of risk and vulnerability for young women when transitioning from youth to adult services (articulated wonderfully by Nicky Hill here)
Marcel Campbell from the Integrated Gangs Team, reflected on how IGT practice has developed to be much more relationship based, exploring intimacy, expectations, trust, control and fear with young men and boys. Our partnership with IGT has been fundamental to our growth, partnership and practice development since 2013.
It was amazing to hear Tanya Pinnock talk about Islington’s strategic priorities to address violence against women and girls. But also a reminder, should we need it, that we have been talking about the endemic nature of VAWG for so long… when will it change?
Great to hear from Dr John Woolf, Executive Member for Community Safety, who recognises the need to ensure that VAWG is a strategic priority across the breadth of Islington’s policies, including housing, community safety, children and families, to name a few.
It was inspiring to hear from Luminary Bakery about their work offering opportunities for women experiencing multiple disadvantages to build a future for themselves - "Now I will live as an independent woman. With love, respect and freedom."
And a right and proper celebration of the incredible services in Islington that have worked with over 1000 survivors of VAWG this year alone.
And a fantastic end to the event hearing from Suzanne Lee and the great work of All Change Arts with beautiful and powerful poetry from young women. Enough!