By Safeguarding Team on 11 Jan 2021
SAFEGUARDING CONFERENCE 2021 - KEYNOTE SPEAKER: JANE GREGORY
The impact that lockdown has had on Domestic Violence – How to recognise unhealthy relationships and offer support.
As a result of lockdowns across the country, domestic violence cases have risen. Jane has experienced this first hand, where she supports families experiencing DV through her charity, Salford survivors. Domestic violence has always been a focus for schools to ensure they are offering the best support they can to their pupils and their families, but now it is essential that staff are aware and able to spot indicators, as well as how to report, signpost and put support in place. Prior to covid-19, Jane has developed and delivered workshops in schools, working with young people around recognising healthy relationships, as well as unhealthy ones. As well as a fully qualified youth worker, Jane is also an empowerment coach and the North West regional spokesperson for Domestic Abuse. Jane is also a freelance writer and has written a book ‘In the name of love, Butterflies inspired by angels’.
I will never forget the morning of 11th March 2012. My daughter rang me, hysterical and told me one of her friends had been murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Her name was Leanne Mcnuff and she had a little boy who shared the same birthday as my granddaughter. That day many lives were changed forever. That day my daughter’s life was saved she began to grow the butterfly wings of freedom inspired by the Angel Wings of Leanne.
Leanne was a beautiful mother of a one, just like my daughter. She was 24, just like my daughter and the similarities didn't end there. Leanne was in an abusive relationship. From the day Leanne died, my daughter decided to make a change and leave the abuse behind. She decided to be a survivor. She left her abuser of 6 years and he went to prison for the 6th time. We had some peace for a while.
Then one morning, a few miles from my home, another beautiful young mother was murdered. Linzi Ashton was murdered by her ex of just a few months. I did not know her but I knew so many of her friends and family. I cried for the children she left behind. Children who will grow up without a mother. I cried for her family, especially for her mother who had lost a daughter. A week later we heard my daughter’s ex was due for release. That day I vowed enough was enough.
I have grown from a small child to a grandmother surrounded by domestic abuse. I watched my father beat my mother. I learned to understand that there is a cycle that is passed down to the children who come from homes of abuse. How people have no skills to cope when things seemed to be out of control, they rely on the skills and coping mechanisms that they saw others use. I myself learnt little by little how to cope and deal with things in a different way. I understood why people stayed, why people did not recognise what abuse was, why people don’t understand that they are worth so much more and deserve so much more. I understood the frustration of being a mother who had tried to give her daughter praise and love, I taught her to respect herself and she was beautiful, yet she ended up with abusers, and I wanted to know WHY? HOW HAD I FAILED? WOULD ONE DAY I BURY MY DAUGHTER?
I have dedicated my life to this project to ensure I can save at least one mother and father from burying their child. I will save at least one man or woman from accepting abuse and I will help children to understand abuse is not love.
But more than anything I dedicate my life to ensure Leanne and Linzi and many others are never forgotten and that their deaths have not been in vain that LEANNE MCNUFF and LINZI ASHTON have helped many people to survive and find a happy, safe life.
This project is dedicated to all survivors of abuse.
Visit website: The Survivor Project