Bradford forum for domestic abuse victims moves to bigger venue

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Lisa Collett and Nazia Shaukat with a poster for the new forum Lisa Collett and Nazia Shaukat with a poster for the new forum

A legal team has been bowled over by the interest in its new domestic violence and forced marriage forum.

The consortium, called You’re Not Alone, is being set up by Petherbridge Bassra Solicitors, which says it is dealing with more and more domestic violence and forced marriage cases.

Last month, the Telegraph & Argus reported on their idea to start a new “one-stop shop” for victims in Bradford, which would bring together people such as solicitors, counsellors and charity workers.

Now the team has said more than 75 people have asked to attend its first meeting next week, which means the organisers have had to move it to a bigger room at the Midland Hotel to fit everybody in.

They have also secured guest speakers from high-profile organisations such as Karma Nirvana, which supports victims of honour-based violence, and Mankind, which works with male victims of domestic abuse.

Practice manager Anne Petherbridge said: “It’s been really good, it’s been amazing. We thought at most we would get 40 to 50 people, and we are now at 75 to 80.

“We’ve had to move the event to the ballroom, but it’s certainly well worth it.

“We are just so pleased with the response, and not just from one area – it’s been right across the board.”

Those expected to attend include victims of domestic abuse, the emergency services, teachers, charities and the Probation Service.

The new forum aims to make people more aware of the different kinds of help available, from anger management classes for abusers to court orders protecting victims.

It will meet every few months to share ideas about how best to tackle the problems.

The first meeting is on January 18 at the Midland Hotel, Bradford.

Anyone who wants to attend, including victims or former victims, can e-mail Anne Petherbridge at anne@petherbridgebassra.com.

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