In 2019, I was invited to present my Master’s research focusing on male domestic abuse victim’s experiences when seeking medical assistance at accident and emergency services in the United Kingdom at the 3rd European Conference on Domestic Violence. I felt honoured to be asked, especially as the majority of those attending had been working within the field for many, many years. As my research had yet to be published, it was incredible that the abstract I provided was selected. The conference took place in Oslo, Norway, which is a stunning city. This trip was not only my first international conference but the first international trip solo. Therefore, I felt the importance of building as many bridges with people from different areas of expertise within the field of domestic abuse/violence and learn from those who have produced numerous research papers. As well as maintain safe. I connected with several attendees and formed a small group of women researchers. The group kept in touch throughout the conference, discussing which sessions we would be going to next, as well as support one another when each of us presented our findings.
My A0 sized poster was on display from 1st to 4th September, with mini A4 versions available to hand out to attendees. I underestimated the level of interest of my research and had printed only 100 A4 copies of my poster. By the end of day two, I only had twenty posters left. Therefore, I handed out my business cards to many more attendees. If you wish to receive an A4 breakdown of the presentation, I am more than happy to provide one.
Not only did I feel honoured to be asked to present, but the feedback I received was very enlightening and allowed me to understand the additional barriers for victims that had not been explored within my research. There was another question regarding the backstories of the participants and the reasons why I focused on male victims attending emergency services. Thus, allowing me to defend the importance of my research and allowed me to explore the reasons behind my research topic.
Daily I present to my students, and I have presented my research at several conferences across the UK. Although I feel very comfortable presenting, even though I still get nervous every day, which I feel benefits my approach. This prep did not assist in me presenting my research to some of the keynote speakers of the event or people I have previously referenced. I had the opportunity to discuss my research project with both Rebecca and Russell Dobash, who’s work I have read and referenced. As well as discussing my research, I had the opportunity to discuss their research, in-particular with Per Isdal, who keynotes on consequences of working with violence highlighted the importance of professionals monitoring and caring for their mental health as he described that there’s a risk of secondary traumatisation, when working within fields such as domestic abuse.
I felt this conference gave me the confidence boost I needed as I have struggled over the last year with personal issues and my research. The overwhelmingly positive comments gave me the push I needed to refocus.
European Conference 2019 – Programme: https://ecdv-oslo.org/files/2019/08/ECDV-Conference2019-WEB.pdf