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Norfolk continues to tackle domestic abuse with new initiatives

Two renowned domestic abuse campaigners are coming to Norfolk to share their story at three special events across the county.

Luke and Ryan Hart suffered tragedy in 2016 when their abusive father murdered their mother and sister in a car park in Lincolnshire, before killing himself.

They have since become committed advocates for domestic abuse change, releasing the book Operation Lighthouse: Reflections on our Family's Devastating Story of Coercive Control and Domestic Homicide.

Now, they are coming to Norfolk to hold three seminars discussing coercion and control, and wider elements of domestic abuse.

The events, taking place in Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth, are all fully-booked and around 680 attendees will collectively be taking part.

The events, organised by The Norfolk Adult Safeguarding Board, will feature Luke and Ryan discussing their family’s story of domestic abuse, before allowing the audience to ask questions about the subjects being addressed.

Bringing Luke and Ryan to Norfolk is a key element in a concentrated drive to raise domestic abuse awareness in the region, spearheaded by the Norfolk Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Board (DASVB), which is part of Norfolk’s Community Safety Partnership.

A powerful new video project, entitled ‘Things Need to Change’ has been well received, and has currently received over 70,000 views on social media alone.

The films aim to raise awareness of different forms of abuse and have been supported by national domestic abuse charities including SafeLives and Respect.

Dr Gavin Thompson, Director of Policy and Commissioning at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN), and Chair of the DASVB, said: “It is really pleasing that tens of thousands of people have already viewed the ‘Things Need to Change’ films.

“It is crucial we continue to work together to drive home the message that domestic abuse, whatever form it may take, is not acceptable and help is available for those who seek it.”

Norfolk County Council’s recent domestic abuse training session for hairdressers and beauticians was also greeted well, with 96% of surveyed attendees happy to recommend the training to their peers.

One attendee said: “Fantastic evening. We are so much more aware of issues that people are telling us. I am very happy I have received this training because I feel I can spot the warning signs which I did not before.”

Another added that it was “heartening (to see) how many attended.”