A CONFERENCE aimed at raising the awareness of domestic abuse was held at the Celtic Manor Resort on Friday - an event inspired by the story of Newport woman Rachel Williams.

After 18 years in an abusive relationship, in 2011 Mrs Williams was shot and severely injured by her violent partner who then took his own life.

Now, she campaigns tirelessly to end domestic abuse and is an Ambassador for Welsh Women’s Aid, The Freedom Programme, Threshold DAS and a SafeLives Pioneer.

The survivor-led Stand Up To Domestic Abuse conference was also aimed at breaking down barriers between survivors and statutory organisations like the police, government and social services, which were all represented at the event.

As well as Mrs Williams, the conference featured guest speakers including actor Michael Sheen, criminal behavioural analyst Laura Richards, Pat Craven - creator of the Freedom Programme and author of the bestselling book Living with the Dominator, and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ national lead for supporting victims Dame Vera Bird.