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On the 25th November, the world marked White Ribbon Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. From then until the 10th December, we are encouraging everybody to take part in the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.

MK ACT, the Domestic Abuse Charity for Milton Keynes, in partnership with Safer MK, held a domestic abuse conference last week to mark White Ribbon Day in the City. 120 people from companies and agencies all over Milton Keynes attended the sold- out conference.

Sue Burke, MK ACT Chief Exec said “Our conference was a resounding success; our aim was to raise the profile of Domestic Abuse and Violence in Milton Keynes and bring lots of professionals together to develop working relationships. The conference up skilled professionals in their knowledge by hearing about the latest research and developments”.

The Mayor of Milton Keynes, Cllr Sam Crooks opened the conference and speakers included the CEO of Women’s Aid Adina Claire, Frank Mullane AAFDA (supporting families who have suffered fatal domestic abuse,) Zoe Thompson a Domestic Abuse survivor and Lifestyle and Wellbeing Coach and Dr Jane Monckton-Smith, Senior lecturer in Criminology at the University of Gloucester, as well as survivors of domestic abuse and MK ACT professionals.

The workshops at the conference included: Identifying Risk, The effects on Children and Young People, Domestic Abuse and BAMER Communities and Developing a DV Workplace Policy.

Adina Claire, CEO of Women’s Aid, said at the conference

 “1 in 5 women victims will take time off work because of domestic abuse. 2 in every hundred victims will lose their jobs. Of those who remain in work, 75% will be harassed, abused, threatened or assaulted at their workplace. The cost to business of domestic abuse is estimated at almost £2 billion a year. Employers have both a duty of care and business reason to provide a safe and effective work environment for their staff.”

After the success of the conference and the fantastic take up by companies in Milton Keynes, MK ACT have decided to make it an Annual Event for White Ribbon Day.

One woman in four experience domestic violence in their lifetime and two women are killed each week by a current or former partner in England and Wales.  Milton Keynes has the highest level of repeat incidents of domestic abuse in the Thames Valley area. The refuge in Milton Keynes is always full to capacity. MK ACT are appealing for help from companies in Milton Keynes to raise money this Christmas for their Christmas Hamper Appeal for the victims of domestic abuse. Anyone that would like to donate to the cause are urged to visit: http://www.localgiving.org.uk/mk-act

If you are suffering from domestic abuse and need help, support or to discuss your options call:

  • 0344 375 4307 MK ACT (9-5pm Monday-Friday)
  • 0808 2000247 National Domestic Violence Helpline (24 hours)

If you feel at risk don’t be afraid to call the police: 999


1. MK Act

MK Act is a charity in Milton Keynes which works with over 100 families’ every day to help them move on fear and abuse. We have been providing safe emergency accommodation in Milton Keynes for women and their children escaping domestic violence for over 40 years.

For further information visit: https://www.mkact.com/

2. Women’s Aid

Women’s Aid is the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. Over the past 44 years, Women’s Aid has been at the forefront of shaping and coordinating responses to domestic violence and abuse through practice, research and policy. We empower survivors by keeping their voices at the heart of our work, working with and for women and children by listening to them and responding to their needs.

We are a federation of over 180 organisations who provide just under 300 local lifesaving services to women and children across the country. We provide expert training, qualifications and consultancy to a range of agencies and professionals working with survivors or commissioning domestic abuse services, and award a National Quality Mark for services which meet our quality standards. We hold the largest national data set on domestic abuse, and use research and evidence to inform all of our work. Our campaigns achieve change in policy, practice and awareness, encouraging healthy relationships and helping to build a future where domestic abuse is no longer tolerated.

The 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (run in partnership with Refuge) and our range of online services, which include the Survivors’ Forum, help hundreds of thousands of women and children every year. 

For further information visit: www.womensaid.org.uk.