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Safe Ireland and DVAS invite you to attend a timely and important conference:

‘Understanding and Responding to Coercive Control with Professor Evan Stark’

A one-day conference in Sligo with world renowned Professor Emeritus Evan Stark and other leading experts in domestic violence.

Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Sligo

Date: Wednesday 12th December 2018

Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm

Cost: General Admission €30.  Buy tickets here

Limited number of concession tickets available. Contact or

Further details on

About this conference

Safe Ireland in collaboration with DVAS (Domestic Violence Advocacy Service) are co-hosting a multi-disciplinary one-day conference in Sligo on the 12th December 2018: ‘Understanding and Responding to Coercive Control’ with world-renowned Professor Emeritus Evan Stark, leading UK domestic violence expert Davina James Hanman and Irish legal expert Caroline Counihan BL.

As part of a wider strategy to create safer homes and safer communities this conference aims to increase front line professionals understanding of ways to improve responses to violence in relationships with a particular focus on violence against women in intimate relationships.

Important timing of this conference in the West of Ireland.

Did you know that at least 1 in every 3 women in the West of Ireland are or have been subjected to controlling and abusive behaviour by their intimate partner/ex-partner? Did you also know that the Irish Government has passed into law a new criminal offence of Coercive Control which is due to be enacted early in 2019 along with a suite of measures to support victims of domestic violence and to hold offenders to greater levels of accountability. This conference is a great opportunity for professionals across disciplines to strengthen their capacity to respond more effectively to domestic violence. Participants will be empowered with a greater understanding of Coercive Control, information about new legal measures and the opportunity to strengthen their professional skills to recognise and respond more effectively to domestic violence?

Is this conference for me?

Are you working as a teacher, Garda, housing officer, social worker, doctor, nurse, probation officer, solicitor, barrister, Judge, advocate, family support worker, therapist, social care worker, psychiatrist, psychologist, community worker, youth worker, student or any other profession working with women who may be seeking your support to access safety and a life free from the violence, abuse and control they are being subjected to by their partner/ex-partner?

If the answer is yes to any of the above then this conference will help you to improve your capacity to respond effectively to women experiencing domestic violence.

Time & Venue

Registration will start at 9.30am and the conference will begin at 10.30am sharp. The conference will be held in the Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa in Sligo. Lunch will be provided. Please email if you have any special dietary needs.

Ticket Costs

This event is partly subsidised by funding from Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime, The Community Foundation for Ireland and other donors. However, to cover the full costs of the conference there is a general admission charge of €30. If you want to attend and cannot afford to pay please contact of for a limited number of free tickets. Places are limited so please purchase your ticket as early as possible.

Special Assistance Needs

In order to make sure this event meets any needs you may have please contact  to let us know your specific requirements.


About the Speakers

Evan Stark speaking in sligoProfessor Emeritus Evan Stark is a world-renowned sociologist, forensic social worker, an award-winning researcher and one of the leading global experts on coercive control in the context of domestic violence and abuse. He is the author of the award-winning book, Coercive Control: How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life – one of the most important books ever written on domestic violence.

In recent years he has advised the Irish, English, Welsh and Scottish Governments on their coercive control laws.


Davina-James-Hanman speaking in sligoDavina James-Hanman is an independent Violence Against Women Consultant. She has worked in the field of violence against women for over three decades in a variety of capacities.

She was formerly the Director of AVA (Against Violence & Abuse) for 17 years, which she took up following five years at L.B. Islington as the first local authority Domestic Violence Co-ordinator in the UK. From 2000-08, she had responsibility for developing and implementing the first London Domestic Violence Strategy for the Mayor of London during which time domestic homicides reduced by 57%.

Current projects include a range of quality assurance and standards development work, evaluations of innovative projects and Domestic Homicide Reviews. Davina is also an Expert Adviser to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, a Special Adviser to Women in Prison and a Trustee of the Centre for Women’s Justice.

Caroline_Counihan speaking in sligoCaroline Counihan BL

Caroline Counihan has worked with Safe Ireland since 2014. She was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1992 and practised there in criminal law (defence and prosecution), family and immigration law. She was called to the Irish Bar in 1997.  Since 2008, she has also been Legal Policy Director at Rape Crisis Network Ireland. Her role at Safe Ireland includes policy work and advocacy to help improve the legal system for all domestic violence survivors, most recently by her extensive work on the Domestic Violence Act 2018 as it made its way through the Oireachtas. She also supports the new Safe Ireland legal information and support  initiative, Resolve, by assisting survivors and Domestic Violence support service staff and delivering staff training on legal matters.


About the Organisers

Safe Ireland is a national social change agency with a clear ambition: we want to end domestic violence and make Ireland the safest country in the world.

We believe that at the root of all violence is what happens in the home and that the single biggest barrier to achieving gender equality and human rights is the high prevalence of gender-based violence and its wider personal, family, social and economic impacts.

We are dedicated to transforming how the whole system, including government departments and other services, respond to domestic violence. Part of achieving this goal is by helping people to better understand the problem, its impact and how to respond to it.

We do this through training, public awareness campaigns, creating dialogue and encouraging creative and innovative thinking about the solutions.

Over the years, our purpose has evolved: our main focus is on creating the social change needed to end domestic violence. We continue to work closely with frontline domestic violence services, throughout Ireland, to achieve this. Together, we support the development and provision of critical lifelines to women and children.

We also provide direct specialist domestic violence services for women and children including refuge. These services are primarily provided for women and children living in Mayo and surrounding counties.

DVAS (Domestic Violence Advocacy Service, Sligo, Leitrim and West Cavan) is a frontline domestic violence agency. DVAS provide support, information and advocacy to women experiencing domestic violence through one-to-one sessions, group work, outreach and phone-based service. DVAS also provide court accompaniment and advocacy services.


We work with other agencies to support the development of a good practice response to violence against women and raise awareness in the community about the prevalence and nature of domestic violence and of the options open to women. DVAS uses community development approaches to support communities to take leadership and build their capacity to address violence against women. All of our services are free and confidential. Phone 071-914 1515 or e-mail

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