The Ministry of Equality has announced that it is holding a second event in its series of fireside chats and the next one will focus on domestic abuse.
It will be held on Monday 12th June at the Elliot Hotel from 5pm to 7pm.
The topic for the fireside chat has been selected to coincide with the changes that have been brought about by the new legislation that was passed in Parliament earlier this year. Training and awareness around domestic abuse and the new legislation are being organised as key components of the new Domestic Abuse National Strategy.
This fireside chat aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse and will hear first hand from domestic abuse survivor and campaigner Rachel Williams who will be back in Gibraltar next week and will also be delivering a number of training workshops to frontline staff at key stakeholder departments.
In particular, the presentation aims to highlight the impact of coercive control, a new criminal offence in our Domestic Abuse Act.
Rachel was one of the key speakers at the Ministry of Justice’s domestic abuse conference for public servants held in November 2022 and also spoke at the Gibunco Gibraltar Literary Festival last year. Her testimony which is a powerful indictment of domestic abuse was extremely well-received on both occasions.
Rachel, who was in an abusive relationship for 18 years, was shot and severely injured by her violent partner in 2011. He then took his life, as did her 16-year-old son, Jack, shortly after the attack. Rachel will be delivering a presentation where she will recount her lived experience of domestic abuse.
Now a qualified Independent Domestic Violence Adviser, Rachel campaigns tirelessly and is committed to ending domestic abuse. In 2020 she received the St. David’s award in recognition of her longstanding efforts and work in this field. Rachel has also been recently shortlisted for Crime Fighter of the Year in the UK.
Minister for Equality, the Hon Samantha Sacramento, said: “We are fortunate that Rachel has been able to return to Gibraltar to assist us with our awareness campaign, learning about the impact of domestic abuse and awareness is a key part of the preventative strand of our Domestic Abuse Strategy. Members of the public who were not able to attend her talk last year will have another opportunity to listen to her powerful account. Rachel is a survivor of terrible abuse and violence. She is a remarkable woman whose story is incredibly moving but uplifting and inspiring at the same time. Rachel will also talk about the huge impact of coercive control which is now an offence covered by the Domestic Abuse Act 2023. I would encourage everyone who may be affected by a situation of domestic abuse, including friends and family, to attend.”