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National Conference Looks at Impact of Domestic Violence on Young People

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The University of Worcester hosted a national conference exploring the impact of domestic violence on children and young people.

The two-day event, in partnership with the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma in San Diego, featured international speakers from the United States of America, Canada and Ireland.

Titled The Impact of Violence and Abuse on Children and Young People, it was organised by the University’s Centre for Violence Prevention (formerly the National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse).

Academics, students, social workers, health care professionals and representatives from organisations or charities supporting survivors of violence and abuse, took part in the conference.

Professor Robert Geffner, Founding President of the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma in San Diego, an international expert on violence and trauma, delivered one of the keynote speeches, presenting his thoughts on children exposed to violence and abuse looking at the impact of such trauma on brain functioning and psychological wellbeing.

Other issues addressed included safeguarding the needs of children in a domestic violence situation, international work with young people who are survivors of violence and the changes in how children caught up in domestic violence locally are treated now and 30 years ago.

Erica Bowen, Professor of Violence Prevention Research at Worcester, closed the conference with a talk focused on children’s resilience to violence and abuse between parents, outlining current research and further work that needs to be done.

Professor Liz Gilchrist, Head of the Centre for Violence Prevention, said: “We were delighted with the rigorous but applied nature of the work presented. We are keen to promote inclusive but critical debate on the key issues affecting children and young people.”

The conference also saw the launch of an inspirational new video, featuring the University’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, Marc Scriven, who overcame challenges in his life, including violence as a child, to become a graduate and mentor.

To see Marc Scriven’s story log on to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EwG_7qqbfQ.