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Violence Against Women and Girls: Policing, politics and practice

Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - 09:30 to 16:00
IN PERSON @The Open University, Milton Keynes, and ONLINE (morning presentations only)

CPRL has an active partnership with 24 police forces across the UK and is currently engaged in a programme of leading research in the area of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).

The aim of the conference is to increase awareness and understanding of the key strands of work being undertaken in VAWG from a policing, politics, practice and research perspective. The conference is relevant to both practitioners and academics, and in bringing together these high-profile speakers, delegates will be able to deepen their understanding of topical issues in the VAWG arena from multiple perspectives.

This will enable delegates to obtain a combined and current overview of both policy and practice as well as emerging academic research and how these interlink.

Practitioners working in the field will be able to improve their policy, practice and decision-making skills and academic researchers will enhance their understanding of the complexities of practitioner work across VAWG.

Delegates will also have ample opportunity to network with fellow professionals during the course of the day.

Register here

Conference programme

09:30 Registration and refreshments

10:00 Welcome and context by Professor Jean Hartley, Academic Director of CPRL, OU.

10:05 Panel discussion chaired by Dr Anna Hopkins with:

10:45 Panel Q & A

11:10 Refreshments/break

11:25 Presentation 1 | Victim and survivor’s perspectives from the Office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner. Senior Researcher, Nicola McConnell, Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s Office Q&A

12:00 Presentation 2 | ’Not us and them, but we: How to better engage survivor experiences in policing and research’. Lived Experience Consultant, Lisa Ward. Q&A

12:45 Lunch

14:00 Workshops (in person attendees only)

  • VAWG Research plan
  • Identifying the differences, crossover and gaps between DA & RASSO incidents
  • Support systems and structures 15:30 Reflections on the day / networking

16:00 Finish


1. Victim and survivor’s perspectives from the Office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner. Senior Researcher, Nicola McConnell. An overview of the role and function of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s office, what research has been carried out with the DA sector to engage survivors, the barriers to accessing specialist DA support and what survivor’s experiences are with the police

2. ’Not us and them, but we: How to better engage survivor experiences in policing and research’. Lived Experience Consultant, Lisa Ward. An overview of how to better incorporate the lived experiences of victim survivors in both policing and research.

Afternoon Workshops | please choose one on registration

1. VAWG Research plan. This workshop will commence with a presentation on a CPRL DA/RASSO based project: Victim (dis)engagement across DA and RASSO: Unpicking engagement: Contrasting narratives of survivors and police in domestic abuse cases. The purpose of this workshop will be to identify future key areas of research interests from delegates and discuss the possible opportunities and barriers of these areas.

2. Identifying the differences, crossover and gaps between DA & RASSO incidents. This workshop will commence with a presentation from Operation Soteria Bluestone: Reflections on improving RASSO investigations and exploring RASSO and DA crossovers. The purpose of this workshop will be to identify what works across DA and RASSO investigations and whether examining DA and RASSO side by side enables an improved understanding across the two offence types.

3. Support systems and structures. This workshop will commence with a presentation on a CPRL DA based project: Examining decision-making on the use of Evidence Led Prosecutions in DA and their effect on victims’ experiences, satisfaction levels and subsequent re-engagement with the Criminal Justice System. This workshop will focus on how victims/survivors access justice, what justice means and how improved working relationships between the third sector agencies and police could assist in offering multiple forms of justice (police based, restorative and other senses of “justice”).

Register here


Jess Phillips

Jess Phillips MP

Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding.

Jess Phillips is a Labour Party politician who became the MP for the constituency of Birmingham Yardley at the 2015 general election.

Jess has committed her life to improving the lives of others, especially the most vulnerable. Before becoming an MP, Jess worked for Women’s Aid in the West Midlands developing services for victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence, human trafficking and exploitation. She became a councillor in 2012, in this role she worked tirelessly to support residents, with her work being recognised when she became Birmingham's first ever Victims Champion.

Since becoming an MP, Jess has continued her fight to support those who need it the most and has earned a reputation for plain speaking since being elected, unfazed by threats and calling out sexist attitudes as she promotes women’s rights and focuses on ending violence against women and girls and on issues of justice and home affairs.

Jess is a bestselling author and has written three bestselling books. Her books focus on demystifying the worlds of politics and activism to encourage others to take back power and control.

Andy Cook

Andy Cook

QPM DL, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary and her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services.

Andy Cooke joined Merseyside Police in 1985 having obtained an Honours Degree in Politics from Nottingham University. He served as a Detective at every rank.

Throughout his career, Andy has had numerous roles including being in charge of the Robbery Squad and Target Operations at the Major Crime Unit. He became the first Commander of the nationally recognised ‘Matrix’ team, responsible for tackling gun and gang enabled crime.

During his time as Area Commander for South Liverpool, Andy was instrumental in significantly reducing crime, antisocial behaviour and disorder and South Liverpool became one of the highest performing Basic Command Units in the country. In 2008, Andy was appointed Assistant Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary where he held the roles of ACC Specialist Operations and ACC Territorial Operations.

He returned to Merseyside in 2012, was promoted to Deputy Chief Constable in 2013 and in 2016 he was appointed Chief Constable. During this time, Andy led the biggest reorganisation in Merseyside Police’s 40 year history. Whilst he was Chief, the Force was graded as the highest performing metropolitan Force by HMICFRS.

Nationally, Andy held some of the highest risk portfolios in Policing. In addition to leading the creation of the United Kingdom Protected Persons Service, he was the national policing lead for serious organised crime and national lead for crime.

Andy has also been commended on 10 occasions and in 2014 was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal. He is a Deputy Lieutenant of the Merseyside Lieutenancy and an Adjunct Professor within the School of Justice Studies at Liverpool John Moores University.

Andy was appointed as HM Inspector of Constabulary and HM Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services in April 2021 where he was the HMI for Northern England and the SRO for PEEL Inspection.

On 1 April 2022 Andy was appointed as HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary and HM Chief Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services. 

Farah Nazeer

Farah Nazeer

Farah Nazeer has been chief executive of Women’s Aid since March 2021.

With more than 20 years of director-level experience in the charity sector, she has devoted her career to women’s rights and working to end violence against women and children.

Farah has led Women’s Aid during a period of transition and significant growth, steering the charity through the unprecedented rise in demand for domestic abuse services presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under Farah’s leadership, Women’s Aid has delivered and supported member organisations to deliver higher levels of lifesaving direct services throughout England, such as Women’s Aid’s Live Chat service. Farah’s voice has enhanced the charity’s ongoing campaigns to increase the safety and rights of domestic abuse survivors, and their children.

Farah says: “It’s a huge privilege to work for such an inspiring organisation, and one that is uniquely placed to help bring about the elimination of violence against women and girls. We won’t stop until women and children are safe at home, in the streets, and at the hands of those who are supposed to protect us. We will work tirelessly to inform and bring together all parts of society to help us achieve our goals. There are many challenges ahead and barriers to break down, but I’m proud to work with such a passionate team of dedicated and resilient feminists.”