SOS Toolkit: Supporting Older Survivors


We are very excited to announce the launch of our ‘SOS Toolkit: Supporting Older Survivors.’ created in collaboration with Dewis Choice. At this event we will be reflecting on the research in the toolkit, specifically the ‘invisibility’ of older women and the barriers they face to accessing support.

Our panel of experts include:

Chair: Alison Bird, Training Manager and Clinical Lead for Stalking,Solace Women’s Aid. Alison has worked nationally and locally with stalking/domestic abuse survivors for over a decade and was one of the first established & accredited Independent Stalking Advocacy Case Workers (ISACs) in the UK. She is a leading expert in the stalking field. She was part of the consultation with key stakeholders & MPs for both the Stalking Protection Orders 2020 and the long-awaited Domestic Abuse Draft Bill.

Alison is a Visiting Senior Fellow for Social Policy at University of Suffolk and alongside the University of Suffolk has just published research on the Victim’s Right to Review (VRR) in stalking cases that have been No Further Actioned (NFAd): New research published examining the Victim’s Right to Review by police in stalking and harassment cases. | University of Suffolk (

Alison was also featured recently in: The UK’s femicide epidemic: who’s killing our daughters? | Crime | The Guardian.

Alison is a speaker at national and local conferences as well as a trainer. Also a DHR Chair – currently chairing a DHR where the victim was an older woman killed by her son. As an Associate of the National Stalking Consortium she & her peers influence policy & policy makers on stalking matters.

Sarah Wydall, Dewis Choice: the Director of the Centre for Age, Gender and Social Justice and Principal Investigator of the Dewis Choice Initiative supporting older victim-survivors of domestic abuse. As a consequence of her contribution to the field of domestic abuse, Sarah was awarded the Audrey Jones Memorial Prize for feminist scholarship in 2016 Based at Aberystwyth University since 2015, Dewis, meaning ‘ Choice’ in Welsh is unique in that it is a co-produced service offering intensive support for all older victim-survivors, and it is a longitudinal study capturing the help seeking experiences of older clients of the service should they choose to participate in the research.To date Dewis Choice research findings have informed the production of practitioner guidance, journal articles, toolkits, webinars, podcasts and a number of short films.

Frank Mullane, Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (AAFDA): the CEO of Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (AAFDA), a centre of excellence for reviews after domestic homicide and for specialist peer support. Frank helped ensure Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) became law, was asked by government to help develop the model and continues to work closely with the Home Office to enhance the methodology. From its inception in 2011, AAFDA has been a member of the national panel that quality assures DHRs and Frank is a Home Office appointed reader (provides assessments of DHRs to the panel). He is a Home Office accredited Chair for DHRs and trains others to undertake them. Frank is a member of the national Victims’ Panel chaired by the Justice Minister and was on the assessment panel for the recruitment of the first ever (Designate) Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs.

He co-authored a book “Domestic Abuse, Homicide and Gender: strategies for policy and practice” (2014) and has had three chapters published in different books, including in Domestic Homicide and Death Reviews (2017) and “When Parents Kill Children” (2018). He has developed a model for helping families to be integral to reviews after domestic homicide, thought to be unique in the world. He is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Gloucestershire (outstanding work on domestic violence and homicide).

Frank’s sister Julia and nephew William Pemberton were murdered in 2003. Frank previously worked as a business consultant and is a qualified accountant.

Carrie Bower, Age UK: Carrie is a registered social worker and has over 20 years’ experience working with older adults in a local authority, the NHS and the voluntary sector. Carrie’s role as Safeguarding Manager at Age UK includes providing operational support, safeguarding advice and delivering training across the charity. Carrie has a specialist interest in domestic abuse and leads on Age UK’s domestic abuse policy for staff, volunteers and Age UK beneficiaries.

Monsura Mahmud, Domestic Abuse Prevention Adviser, Solace Women’s Aid: Monsura coordinates the Silver Project, a project specifically dedicated to supporting women over 55 years old experiencing domestic violence and sexual abuse, and raising awareness on complex issues surrounding older women and violence. She has worked with survivors for over 25 years in various roles, joining Solace Women’s Aid in 2012. She delivers training and workshops to practitioners around challenging stereotypes, barriers faced by older women, how to refer to Marac and safeguarding, and best practice when supporting older women. The service is currently one of the only specialist service of its kind for older women in London.

This event is free;however, donations are welcome.

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