Domestic Abuse is on the Agenda: Respect Forum held in Manchester

Domestic Abuse Prevention makes up not only a large part of our work but is an essential thread that runs

Domestic Abuse Prevention makes up not only a large part of our work but is an essential thread that runs through all our services and projects.



In the last few months, domestic abuse and our services, which aim to ensure long term sustainable change and prioritise the safety of those affected, has become incredibly relevant on the national stage.

We’ve seen a rapidly changing political environment, with extensive media coverage around the Draft Domestic Violence Bill, which is the first of its kind acknowledging the need for more work with perpetrators. It also includes a range of legislative and non-legislative measures around perpetrators and support for victims/survivors. The large hopes for this bill were quickly dissipated as Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament removed it from the agenda.

The highs and lows continued as we’ve very recently seen the UK’s first Domestic Abuse Commissioner appointed who announced she expects to see the Domestic Violence Bill re-introduced as Parliament returns, and Boris Johnson has announced he is committed to this also.

This meant that there was never a more appropriate time for us to link in with our peers, committed to this work, across the UK.


Our CEO, Michelle Hill, who was formerly a Respect Trustee, joined a range of Respect Accredited members for their second forum of the year, which aimed to share knowledge, discuss the key issues and find ways that the people fighting domestic abuse could work together.

The Forum opened with a Keynote from Respect CEO, Jo Todd, who noted that Respect had doubled in size since 2017 and now have 30 staff members, most of whom work on specific projects such as:



Respect are also involved in research such as Reprovide around health and Advance around substance misuse.

Their public affairs and communications work has also developed further, with a particular focus around:

  • All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG)
  • Domestic Abuse bill – and the impact of the decision about prorogation which may mean the bill progresses to the Second Reading stage imminently
  • Call to Action
  • Comprehensive Spending Review



Jo Todd also outlined that Respect’s future priorities will be built around; Sustainability, partnerships and collaboration, innovation and development and influence and impact.

Forum members then discussed the new Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs and saw Alistair Sherlock welcome two new organisations to the Respect Stage 1 Accreditation which include; Rise and Victim Support’s Turning the Spotlight.

Vic Cousins from the Make a Change project discussed their work in more detail. The project, which is being evaluated by the University of Stirling, is a partnership with Women’s Aid, currently being piloted in Lincoln and East Sussex. The project aims to deliver an early response to domestic abuse, creating opportunities for people to change their behaviours through; expert support, a professional strand and a community strand.


Our CEO, Michelle Hill, was then invited to present a showcase about who we are, and the domestic abuse work we do, which includes;


The day concluded with Respect Forum Members considering and discussing a range of topics such as; the support they receive from Respect, what could be improved and how members can influence the larger public affairs work.


We were delighted to attend this event and as an organisation, truly see and feel the value of connecting with our like-minded communities and professional organisations. Our aim is to ensure we’re all working together to end domestic abuse and prioritise the safety of victims, survivors and children.


As it’s such as critical time for domestic abuse work, never has this been more important. Michelle Hill states:


“At TLC: Talk, Listen, Change, we are incredibly focused on delivering safe, high quality services. Over the last 10 years’ we’ve seen our services go from strength to strength, real change happens and our outcomes data tells us that our approach is working. We look forward to not only seeing progression with domestic abuse policy, but we are committed to having a voice in the essential conversations and collaborating with other organisations.”



A big thank you to Shoosmiths Manchester, for providing the venue for the day
TLC: Talk, Listen, Change’s Domestic Abuse Services have been Respect Accredited since 2014 and are currently going through the process of reaccreditation.