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Rachel Williams trains front line public services on domestic abuse

As part of the Domestic Abuse National Strategy, the Ministry for Justice arranged for awareness workshops to be delivered to public servants who work in key stakeholder departments that provide to victims of domestic abuse this week.

Training and awareness workshops were delivered by survivor of domestic abuse and attempted murder Rachel Williams.

Ms Williams is a domestic abuse advocate and has been working tirelessly to raise awareness about this issue and provide support to victims. She has been recognised for her work with numerous awards and last week won an award for the ‘True Crime fighter of the year.’

She delivered awareness training on domestic abuse to some 150 public servants at a conference organised by the Ministry for Justice in November last year.

As part of her programme whilst in Gibraltar this week, she delivered four workshops to the public sector. The first one on Monday morning was to the Royal Gibraltar Police at New Mole House Police Station, this was followed by a session specifically for GPs at the Primary Care Centre.

On Tuesday training was delivered to a further 100 members of staff in the public sector over two sessions. This was attended by staff from the GHA’s including medical, nursing, allied health professionals and administrative staff and across the GHA services including A&E, Ambulance, paediatrics, Mental Health and radiology.

Also at the training were members of staff from the Department of Education, the Housing Department and the Care Agency as well as nursing students from the University of Gibraltar.

This training aims to equip public servants with a better understanding from the point of view of a victim of domestic abuse and the appropriate knowledge and strategies to respond.

The workshops focused on the experiences of people in abusive relationships, and in particular Ms William’s first-hand lived experience, in order to highlight how the various different agencies need to work with other partner agencies to help tackle domestic abuse in all of its various forms.

This training is being funded by the Ministry of Justice and is part of a wider government strategy to tackle domestic abuse. The strategy is being developed to give practical effect to the new domestic abuse legislation that was passed in Parliament in January this year and overhauls the previous laws.

“Partnership working is key to addressing the heinous crime of domestic abuse,” said Minister for Justice Samantha Sacramento.

“It is our pleasure to have Rachel return and offer her workshop to a further 150 members of staff across the public sector. While the police are the most likely responders to victims of domestic abuse, many other services are also very much in the front line and medical and care professionals or officials in the public sector, are likely to be the first point of contact for victims it therefore important that they fully understand the needs of the victim so that they know how best to respond.”

“This training by Rachel, in addition to other training that has been commissioned, demonstrates my commitment to addressing this pervasive problem and ensure that public servants improve their response to cases of domestic abuse by helping them understand the situation better from it being recounted through lived experience.”

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