West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner hosts conference on coercive control

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is hosting a conference on coercive control.

Entitled Understanding Coercive Control - Redressing the Balance, the event will take place on Tuesday (14) at the home of Warwickshire Cricket Club in Edgbaston.

It aims to educate and empower professionals to identify coercive control and be able to act to protect victims.

The offence of coercive control came into force in December 2015 and features can include telling someone they are worthless, isolating someone from their family and friends and controlling someone's ability to go places.

Around 550 delegates are expected to attend the conference, which has been funded by the PCC and will be run by West Midlands Specialist Domestic Abuse Consortium, comprising Birmingham and Solihull Women's Aid, Coventry Haven, Black Country Women's Aid and The Haven Wolverhampton.

Key speakers will include:

  • Professor Evan Stark, "Coercive Control: How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life".
  • Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women's Aid, "Child First Campaign - Safe Child Contact Saves Lives".
  • Lydia Mason, National Police Chief's Council, Domestic Abuse Staff Officer, "A National and West Midlands Regional Perspective for Policing Domestic Abuse".

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: "Tackling hidden crimes such as domestic abuse and coercive control is one of my main priorities. To do this, we must bring them out from behind closed doors and discuss them openly and honestly.

"I have already funded more than £600,000 to domestic abuse services across the West Midlands and this conference will build on that work.

"It will bring together a range of voices and speakers to discuss the issues of protecting victims affected by domestic abuse and coercive control - and take tough action where necessary."

Birmingham and Solihull Women's Aid Chief Executive Maureen Connolly added: "Coercive or controlling behaviour affects thousands of women across the region - it does not relate to a single incident, but it is a purposeful pattern of incidents that occur over time in order for one individual to exert power, control or coercion over another.

"This conference is an important opportunity for professionals and support specialists to come together to discuss the most effective ways to keep local women and children safe, many of who are the most vulnerable in society."