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Ask Me event puts spotlight on domestic abuse safe spaces

Safe spaces for victims of domestic abuse are the focus of a special event taking place in Middlesbrough this week.

The Ask Me project is calling on everyone living and working in the Middlesbrough area to help make a difference in their local community to help tackle violence against women and girls.

The project – a partnership between Middlesbrough Council and My Sister’s Place – is holding a conference tomorrow (Friday, November 25) to mark the International Day of Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls.

My Sister’s Place will be joined at St Mary’s Centre on Corporation Road by Arch Teesside, Women’s Street Watch Middlesbrough and Hart Gables to raise awareness about domestic and sexual abuse through informative workshops.

The key message is to let survivors know that they are not alone, and that help and support is available.

The all-day event will feature workshops, live music, a tombola and lunch, while a Q&A session will give attendees a chance to quiz local leaders including representatives from Cleveland Police, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and My Sister’s Place.

Jessica Taylor, Community Development Worker for My Sister’s Place and Ask Me project lead, said: “People within a survivor’s community are often the first to know that domestic abuse is happening.

“But lack of understanding and confidence can make people afraid to talk about it, or unsure of how to respond when someone speaks out.

“Survivors have told us they can feel judged, isolated, or silenced by their community.

“My Sister’s Place are changing this through the Ask Me Project which has delivered training to over 200 people this year.”

Darren Best, Independent Chair of the Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Board, added: “We acknowledge that it can be very hard for a person to seek help, but action can only be taken if they or someone who is concerned about them – a family member, a concerned neighbour is prepared to come forward.

“It is important that you report any concerns that you might have as soon as possible to ensure that people are not left at risk of abuse and neglect.”

For more information and to request tickets for the Ask Me conference email Jessica.taylor@mysistersplace.co.uk. Tickets are priced at £25 (£20 early bird), unwaged free. All ticket sales will raise funds for My Sister’s Place Community Projects. For more information about abuse and neglect, how to report it and where to access support, visit the Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Board website or follow @TeeswideSAB on social media for regular updates about the campaign.