The picture above shows over 350 hearing medical professionals standing to give a hand wave in solidarity for the Deaf survivor who gave a raw and painful account of her domestic abuse experiences, in BSL, for 45 minutes.
That survivor was me. NHS Safeguarding’s invitation in October 2015 came courtesy of Women’s Aid, at whose annual conference I had also appeared the previous summer. It was not a public conference, but one attended by senior NHS medical professionals, which made for an ideal ‘safe space’.
It was also oversubscribed: tickets sold out within three weeks of release in July, and there were another 280 on the waiting list.
Presenting as a keynote speaker at such a prestigious event was a honour. I was especially touched that NHS Safeguarding made purple – the colour I wore when I ‘came out’ as a survivor during #deafpurplethursday (more info here) – their signature colour, even getting delegates to wear something purple. The theme – Hidden Voices – was established after direct consultation with me.
It is by far the most important presentation I have ever had to make.