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day 8 in the states

Ok so! Take two! On day 8’s update.

Im trying my best to remember what i wrote yesterday as i quite liked lol! I think it went something like –

The meeting today was also incredibly boring! But also incredibly useful,
There was more of the obligatory ego stroking and bla bla’n but also some good networking opportunities and a few very good ideas that i am going to suggest to the promo team that we consider taking forwards.

I managed to escape the talk that i was dreading but i did make a short statement that led to a decision about the next meeting and caused the woman to my right to apologise 3 times to me! Let me explain a few things such as the context of the discussion and some of the key points that stuck in my mind and led to my “contribution”. These points i gathered from what other delegates were saying –

*that survivors groups can be useful as “tear jerker’s” but there is probably no place for them at the current and near future meetings

*that survivors are incapable of coherent and strategic thinking as they are too emotional

*that survivor groups have no understanding of the value of evidence based work

*that the VPA delegates are unsure if survivor groups would even be interested in attending these important meetings

*that survivors groups are unorganised and have limited skills and as such are unimportant on the prevention agenda

*that crime and health group collaboration is of higher import then education in terms of prevention

*that every VPA member should put the slogan “violence is preventable” on all of their publications

Now i have no doubt that the people reading this are more than a little ticked off (to be polite) after reading the above, so imagine how utterly irate (to be VERY polite) that i was in having to listen to such ignorance and short sightedness from these pompous . . . ! you get the point.

Let me explain just a little more so that you know why the conversation went so far before i spoke. There were really 3 reasons (bear with me as timing is everything in marketing and this is what i do)

1- I wanted to have the strongest impact and was waiting for something to time in with my closing statement
2- To talk at this meeting you held up your hand to be noted by the chair and then waited about 20ish minutes to talk
3- I wanted to talk near the end so that i was remembered

And so to my statement, im struggling to recall it precisely as it was yesterday but this is even more down to how nervous i get when i have to talk at these things! So i was really running on instinct. I roughly said –

“il be brief as im not big on public speaking. id just like to make a couple of points about things that i have heard here today, firstly i can tell you that yes, survivors groups are interested in attending VPA meetings i can tell you this as i am from (you know). Also id like to say that sitting here and talking about how overly emotional and incapable survivors groups are is really beyond naive, i actually find it quite funny because you are all talking about what a great idea it is to put the slogan violence is preventable on all of your publications, when we have been using this slogan and stating this fact for ten years now. Also to say that survivors groups don’t see the benefit of evidence based work is, to me, ridiculous. Its because of my boss laurie Matthew’s strategic planning that we are now the leaders in school based abuse prevention in Britain, and i can confidently state this because we have had an independent academic evaluation carried out which proves that we work. I would just like to finish by saying that i don’t think survivors groups should be forgotten, and you should make it a priority to have them represented at the 2009 meeting. Now im going to sit down because i really am nervous, look, my hands are shaking! (nervous giggle)”

Now i admit that i did not exactly end my speech eloquently! But i did make my point. As i say the lady beside me (who was really nice but had made the statement about emotions) immediately began apologising, the next man to speak said he utterly agreed with me, and i was invited to speak at a conference in Canada (i have also been invited to do prevention work in Jamaica, but this was during lunch) laurie! Is there a budget??!! Lol

Anyway there were lots of other boring bits but this was the important one that i thought people would be interested in, that was about all the excitement yesterday other than i had my first American pizza! It was weird more like a pie lol! Nice though, o and my keiran moment that no day would be complete without! Wasn’t too bad this time just that i got in the taxi to go to the meeting then realised i had left the address in my hotel!! Lol found it though and only ten minutes late!!

The only other thing il mention was that john calloghan from Strathclyde police’s violence reduction unit was there, i have heard some great things about him but to be honest i was not unduly impressed.

Thats all folks! Il write my day 9 in a couple of hours

Peace and love

Keiran

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Re: day 8 in the states

OMG i cant believe that - i dont think anyone can. to think that these people actually have any say in anything is really shocking. im really glad you stood up and said something cos that couldn't have been easy and im not sure many of us would have managed to do it in such a calm and collected way (besides the whole shaking hands thing!) lol anyway im away to read ur day 9 post so peace out x