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Conference in Bury St Edmunds will feature play on domestic abuse and talks from experts

The Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds
The Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds will continue to shed light on the important issue of domestic abuse when it holds the third conference on coercive control next month.

As well as staging an award-winning drama about a woman’s attempts to leave an abusive relationship, the event will include talks by professionals from the US, UK and Northern Ireland.

Certain Curtain Theatre Company’s Lady In Red play will offer theatre-goers an opportunity to understand domestic abuse from the victim’s perspective looking at questions like ‘why doesn’t she just leave?’.

Experts attending the conference from the US include Professor Evan Stark who coined the phrase ‘coercive control’ to describe domestic abuse as more than just a fight and Dr Lisa Aronson Fontes, author of Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship, while campaigner and Women’s Aid ambassador Alicia Perry will be visiting from Northern Ireland.

Speakers from the UK include Dr Jane Monckton-Smith, an expert on domestic homicide, coercive control, stalking and forensic investigations; Mark Coulter, director of specialist domestic violence consultancy firm Mencentric, and Ciara Bergman, manager of the Domestic Violence Intervention Project’s family courts’ team.

The conference on coercive control was founded by Min Grob, a survivor of domestic abuse, in 2015. This year’s event will take place at the Theatre Royal on March 6.