VIA Conference 2017 Summary

Wednesday 26 July 2017

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The 2017 VIA conference ‘Integrating Research and Practice to Combat Violence and Interpersonal Aggression’, was one of the year’s successes for us at VIA. The two-day conference offered a diverse mix of keynotes, invited symposia and presentations and brought together 80 practitioners and academics with a shared interest in tackling violence and aggression in our society from across the UK and further afield. The range of content and subject matter being discussed coupled with the expertise and knowledge from academics and practitioners provoked thoughtful dialogue, debate and discourse. The keynotes were particularly engaging and comprised:

  • Professor Andrew Silke who opened the conference with a particularly timely talk, given the recent events in London and Manchester, about violent extremism and countering this. This offered insights into the psychology of terrorism, pathways leading to terrorism, the role of technology, and effective counter-terrorism measures;
  • Dr. Derek Farrell who presented fascinating insight into gender-based violence within the context of trauma capacity building, using case studies about the experiences of people in Iraq and Cambodia;
  • Professor Erica Bowen who closed the conference with a moral disengagement perspective to explain and prevent intimate partner violence and abuse; this theoretical insight offered the audience the opportunity to grapple with some interesting concepts and pose questions about the utility of the theory also; and
  • Associate Professor Christine Wekerle who join us from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada to run an interactive workshop on resilience and the value of mindfulness in relation to trauma.

In addition to this, we were fortunate to have presentations on various subjects in relation to violence and aggression, including policing sexual offending, violent victimisation, interventions, criminal justice, perpetration of violence, revenge pornography and lived experiences of violence. The conference promoted an open forum to encourage questioning and debate. We hope that everyone enjoyed the day as much as we did and we look forward to your participation in our future events.