THE Magazine on Coercive Control.
Making the Invisible Visible.


The Magazine on Coercive Control

September 2017

Issue 1




why we need to talk about it


Author Chris Hemmings, on the launch of his new

book, talks macho culture.




Editor's Notes

4 Welcome to this new magazine

edition of CCChat.

Be a Man

5 Chris Hemmings on his new

book and macho culture.

Marital Rape

10 Why we need to start talking

about it.

Meet CCChat Sponsor LSTA

14 London Stansted Training

Academy - A new way of learning

The Lived Experience

18 Survivors tell, in their own

words, of living with abuse.

Events 2017

36 Coercive Control Conference in

Isle of Wight Nov 2017

Events 2018

17 Voices 4 Victims

CCChat September 2017


Wood You Believe It?

18 CCChat's resident columnist, Jo

Wood, MBE says it as it is.

Ask The Audience

22 Need a question answered?

Let's share knowledge

Exposing Bad Practice

28 Q; Who is an SCA?

A: A 'So Called Advocate'

Charity insider

23 This month:

Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Risk Paranoia

37 Why creating fear and panic is

as bad as ignoring risk.

Discussion Point

35 Conversations we need to have.

CCChat goes Live!

39 Launching a new CC Discussion

Group in Bury St Edmunds


Editor's Notes


Min Grob started

Conference on Coercive

Control in June 2015

following a relationship

that was coercive and


Since then, there have

been three national

conferences, various

speaking engagements

and a newsletter. 2018

will see the start of

CCChat Live

Discussion Groups as

well as details of the

next Conference on

Coercive Control which

will be held in


Let's grow the


Welcome to this new look CCChat

A big hello to readers - both old and new- of CCChat. I am very

excited about this new magazine format. It has been a huge labour

of love starting so soon after a house move whilst still in the school

holidays but it is finally here! It has been worth every second and

if it results in a better understanding of coercive control and a

greater awareness of what is going on outside of someone's usual

sphere, then doubly so.

CCChat has already received a really positive response and I hope

this is continued as the newsletter transitions into an altogether

more glossy production which will hopefully grow with its


It was launched as a newsletter in March 2017, in response to

many requests for extra information. by attendees getting in touch

after various conferences. The aim was to keep coercive control at

the forefront of abuse discussion to enable a better understanding

amongst a large cross section of the population: victims, survivors,

frontline, students and academics.

It fills me with great joy that we are all talking much more openly

about domestic abuse and coercive control. This isn't a

conversation to be reserved for law enforcement, the justice

system and support services, this is a conversation that needs to be

had by all if we are to lift the lid on abuse that is invisible in plain


Min Grob



Editor's Notes

photo by Alex Kilbee of

Chris Hemmings on


Chris Hemmings - Be A Man

The Interview

Chris Hemmings

Chris Hemmings is

an author, journalist

and producer.

His book BE A MAN

has recently been

published and is

available as a

paperback and as a

Kindle version.

CCChat interviewed

Chris on what

inspired him to write

the book and on

other random




you for agreeing to this interview.

I am currently reading BE A MAN and

enjoying it immensely. You cover a

subject matter that is very important

but do so in a very engaging way which

is great as it will have wide appeal.

So, just starting off gently: Are you a

shower or a bath person?

Shower – I'm too tall for most baths. Just my

bum and ankles end up getting wet.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

I like a simultaneous early night and a lie in. But

I also love staying up really late – it's when the

fun happens.

For the benefit of those who haven’t

heard of your book, what is it about?

Partly about my experiences of macho culture

and how it damaged both me and those around

me, but mainly a journalistic research piece

about the many ways in which the

determination to be macho and prove one's

masculinity can damage men, women, boys,

girls and society as a whole.

Chris Hemmings - BE A MAN

They've suggested I get a sex change,

am homosexual or have 'given in to the

feminist canard', amongst other

things. Some men are determined to

ensure we continue to teach young

boys that machismo is of the utmost

importance. They are appalled that

someone dares to question their

masculinity, and only serve to prove

my point that macho culture doesn't

allow us to accept our flaws.

" They are appalled that someone

dares to question their masculinity.'

Thankfully there are a decent amount

of men who've accepted there may be a

problem, but unfortunatel, it's not

them we all need to convince.

"Macho culture doesn't allow us to

accept our flaws"

What gave you the inspiration

to write this book?

I'd written a few articles on the

subject, but about 18 months I was

watching Grayson Perry's Channel 4

documentary, 'All Man', and felt it

was time someone who had given in

to the pressures of masculinity

should speak out and take

ownership of the many issues it is

responsible for. I wrote a chapter

and a half that night, and was

commissioned two weeks later.

How do men react when you

tell them that being macho

is bad for them?

Unsurprisingly there has already

been a visceral backlash from many

men who are terrified that I'm trying

to somehow 'feminise' them.

What is your response to a

typical Twitter statement that

feminism damages men?

I tend to mostly ignore the idiots

online. Some need correcting, but most

are desperate for the attention. But my

favourite quote is one I've used in the

book: "When you're accustomed to

privilege, equality feels like


What is the first step for any man

wanting to shed some of his


Step 1 is to listen to the people who are

negatively affected by it. Listen to the

women and girls who've been illtreated,

the men and boys who've been

mentally damaged and the

professionals who've worked with all

these people and have recognised the

common thread of machismo as the

catalyst for problems.

Chris Hemmings - BE A MAN

You may be familiar with the

recent tweets by a boxer by the

name of Andrew Tate who has

stated that depression isn’t real

and that most depressed

people are unhappy with their

lives and pretend they caught

some disease to absolve all.

What would you say to that?

I'd say that as a 20 year old I was

also one of those abhorrent people

who was convinced anyone with

depression simply needed to 'cheer

up'.and learned just how horribly

wrong I had been.

Weekday: wake up at 7.45am, turn

on the Today Program, read the

news, shower, hop on my Vespa to

work. Morning news meeting,

poached eggs and smashed avocado

on toast for breakfast, then get on

with the day job as Planning Editor.

Go home, maybe do some exercise

(unless I can avoid it), eat

something relatively healthy (unless

I can avoid it), then meet up with

my partner, Zoe. She often takes me

to the theatre, or we watch a film. I

try and get to bed by 10pm, though

often fail, as I love having at least 8


"When you're accustomed to privilege, equality

feels like oppression.”

But, over the years, through my

work as a journalist, I began talking

to those diagnosed with depression.

I found out friends and colleagues

suffered, too. Again, it's only

through engaging with those you

clearly don't understand that you

begin to grasp the reality of what is

happening inside their head


I know you work at LBC as well

as being an author. What does

a typical day look like?

Weekend: varied. During the

summer I'm barely in the house. I

go to lots of music festivals, and

love being out in the sun. I'm

often found at vintage fairs and

flea markets, or at food events.

Failing all of that, a good day in a

beer garden suits me fine.

I can't remember what I do in the

winter. I spent all last winter as a

hermit writing my book.

In your opinion, what are the

qualities you most admire in


Men are brilliant, and proper

male camaraderie is an absolute

joy to be a part of.

Chris Hemmings - BE A MAN

I also believe that the confidence and

strength of mind associated with men

is a quality that should be admired.

I'd really like to further explore the

various ways masculinity presents

itself in various different cultures

around the world. My book is very

much focussed on white, western

culture, but while male-dominated

environments exist across the planet,

not all of them present in the same

way. Also, having focussed on the

many negatives of masculinity/macho

culture, I'd now like to go and speak to

the many fabulous men around the

world who are already doing amazing

work to try and help their brothers out.

Chris is on Twitter: @Hemmch

BE A MAN is available from

Amazon as a paperback or for


"I'd now like to go and speak to the many fabulous men around the

world who are already doing amazing work to try and help their

brothers out."

Finally, you’re stranded on a

desert island. Which 3 things

could you not live without?

Zoe, humous and crisps for my

humous. But if you're kind

enough to let me have 'crisps and

humous' as a single entity, then

I'd also take a notepad and pen.

(wait, is that five things?)

Thank you so much for giving

up your time.

No, thank you for giving me a


Reviews for BE A MAN:

" I love this book. It's what I've been

longing for- a young man who, as a

result of his own experience, is

courageous enoughrto say

tradiotional masculinity is bad for

everyone. Bravo Chris Hemmings!"

Dame Jenni Murray

" A beautiful, searing book which

drips with courage and insight about

how unreconstructed, tradiotional

masculinity is bad for men and

women alike. The policing if gender

norms hurts us all- and this book is

a critical contribution to how we

overcome it."

Owen Jones

Chris Hemmings - BE A MAN

Marital Rape

By anonymous

*content warning*

Marital Rape - ANONYMOUS


My story.......



back, it is hard to remember what it was like.

Except for the bad dreams and the flashbacks. I still

get them, nearly 4 years on and they still have an

impact that shakes me to the core. I am talking about

marital rape or, more specifically, sleep rape.

Rape is rape. I have been told this often. Many times by those who work

within the law. It feels a bit like 'ALL lives matter' and "ALL genders suffer

abuse' Yes, that is true, but it isn't as simple as that. Im not going to enter a

debate. This was my situation and disclosing it may lead to a better

understanding of why rape within marriage is still too taboo to be discussed.

But it NEEDS to be discussed. So much of abuse that is unreported is too

humiliating, degrading and deeply shameful to talk about and it is this shame

which keeps victims silent. For me, it started when I fell pregnant. He no

longer wanted intercourse but he had his needs. It's fair to say that, for the

majority of the pregnancy, I was relegated to a perfunctory sex object. He

would masturbate and then ejaculate on me . I was, if you like, his semen

ashtray, his tissue, his sock.

Within days of the pregnancy he had decided that he didn't want to be a father

and he did not want to be married. We had been married less than 6 months.

As the pregnancy advanced, the humiliation got worse. At first, he would wake

me up to ask if he could come over me later I would wake to find my back wet,

or my hip or my hair. He became erratic and would start shouting without

warning and would storm off - often not returning for days - I never asked him

why. I was too busy trying not to vomit as the nausea was constant and I felt

like I was sailing choppy waters- in more ways than one.

He would wake me up by rubbing himself on me or I would wake up to find

his penis stroking my face with him kneeling over me. It's no lie to say that

there were times when I really wanted to bite it off.

He never stopped reminding me that he did not want to be a father and that

he did not want to be with me. Before the pregnancy, I was his 'soul mate' his

'twin flame' and insisted I go to certain people who would confim this. When

they didn't, he angrily denounced them as charlatans.

Marital Rape - ANONYMOUS.

Yet he insisted that I was the angry

one. He told me that I brought out the

worst in him. He was not himself when

he was with me. I was exhausted and

stressed and scared. At the time, I

believed that I needed him, that I

could not cope with the baby, without

him. I was frightened and felt so shaky

it was easy to believe him.

I dreaded the nocturnal routine. Each

night: Demand sex at bed time, fall

asleep, wake up 2 hours later, demand

sex. This would go on at least 3, maybe

4 times. He had always had difficulties

maintaining an erection. He blamed

his past cocaine use. He was only able

to maintain an erection for any length


After he had ejaculated, he would call

me a dirty bitch, a whore. Sneer at me,

telling me that I was always gagging

for it, I never said no.

It was safer to ignore him or to sob

silently and hope he did not notice.

At other times the 7 am alarm would

signal time for sex. If I refused, he

would rant then stomp out. If I let it

continue, I would be late, the kids

would be waiting for breakfast, they

would knock on the door. I would have

to tell them to go away to stop them

from walking in. The pressure was


“I would wake up to a shaking bed, not

immediately realising what was happening"

of time upon waking. When the

relationship disintegrated he no longer

asked me to 'put it in.'

I would wake up to a shaking bed, not

immediately realising what was

happening. Was I dreaming? Was it an

earthquake? I was so exhausted from

the baby, the stress of the relationship,

my whole existence lived out on

eggshells that it barely registered that

it was him, that it was rape. If I pushed

him off or said 'no' he became furious

and I was terrified his ranting would

wake up the children.

He started getting up at 4am to read

on the toilet for an hour or so. when he

came back up, he would demand sex.

He did not always wipe properly and

appeared to enjoy degrading me.

This is just a small fraction of what it

was like.The relationship ended

suddenly and traumatically. It

included a break in, his mental health

nurse friend, the police and a rape

investigation but that is for another


I didn't understand it at the time but I

reacted by telling everyone I had been

raped. I now recognise this to

be trauma, the consequence of having

lived , for so long, on eggshells. At the

time I felt that if I stayed silent, I

would physically explode, that it had to

come out.

Those around me reacted -predictably

it turns out- by retreating. By avoiding

me. with dismissive

responses, discomfort, even with



I grew used to hearing the following:

How can a husband rape his wife?

But is it rape if you've already had sex?

You can't let your child think the father

is a rapist.

Think about the family, what happens

at Christmas?

This will cause embarassment to the


You'll never be able to prove it.

It took me by surprise. If I'm being honest, it

took my breath away. His friends, colleagues,

even family members, who had all previously

acknowledged his temper, his drug use, his

disinterest in his family became his

staunchest defenders.

If our child had been a boy, not a girl , I

might have caved in to the pressure and just

'put up with it' 'Deal with it- for the sake of

the children' as has so often been said to me.

But how could I live with myself if the

message I passed onto my daughter is that

rape is rape UNLESS you are married and

have children by him then

it needs to stay buried or people will

turn against you?

I couldn't do that.

“ I had no idea of the level of denial that would be employed to

maintain the fiction of his image as a man with integrity."

And on and on it went . I was so

desperate to prove that he had done it,

that I wasn't lying , desperate to be

believed. It created a distance.

At the time I had no idea of how

uncomfortable it made people- many

of them women with children- but it

was clear that certain things were not

to be talked about in polite society.

I had no idea of the pressure I would

be under to just accept what happened,

to grin and bear it ' for the sake of the

children'. I had no idea of how his

family and friends would unite to show

that I was mentally ill, that he was a

wonderful family man, that he was a

wonderful father. I had no idea of the

level of denial that would be employed

to maintain the fiction of his image as

a man with integrity.

I now speak about rape within

marriage. It still pisses off a lot of

people but here is one thing I want to

make perfectly clear: It is not malice. It

is not revenge. Nor is it anger or


I want my daughter to grow up

knowing that it is ok to say 'no'. That it

is wrong to be woken up with an

unwanted and uninvited penis inside

you. I want her to know that she is

much much more important than the

family reputation or what happens at


I want others to know they are not

alone and that the shame is not theirs

to carry, it is the shame of the rapist.


Marital Rape

London Stansted

Training Academy

London Stansted Training Academy

A New Way

To Learn




We are a specialist provider of accredited vocational work based

qualifications for the Community and Social Justice Sector, covering

East Anglia. Our aim is to train learners to become industry

recognised Professionals in the field of domestic abuse. Whether you

want to enhance skills, underpin knowledge or take first steps in

gaining a recognised qualification we are here to help you. This

industry has unique requirements and therefore, our courses have

been developed accordingly. We offer different levels of

qualifications in ‘Supporting or working with victims, survivors and

witnesses of domestic abuse’ or level 3 diploma in ‘Probation


For further information visit our website on:

or call: Head Office: 01279 211710

For Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambridgeshire

Katharine Robinson


For Essex, Herfordshire, Bedfordshire

Jo Waddell

07948 419878

London Stansted Training Academy

Meet Jo Wood, resident

columnist at CCChat.

This month Jo talks about


Jo Wood

Milking Time


here exists……cloaked in the robes of

professionalism and respectability……. A form

of abuse so well-orchestrated and accepted,

that potentially even the abuser is unaware of

its impact.

It is becoming accepted and acceptable to the point that people are shouting

about it on social media – screaming out for more “victims” to exploit – and

the vulnerable fall for it – jump right in and are left to handle the fallout for

the rest of their days. I call it “milking” The process of milking anything –

animal, vegetable or mineral, involves obtaining something from said object/

person/creature that can be used for your advantage – otherwise you wouldn’t

be doing it.

The most common “milker” is the over enthusiastic and naïve journalist. I

choose my words carefully because said journalist may have worked in their

profession for years and be very good at what they do. his does not however,

make them empathic, sensitive or even slightly understanding of, victims and

survivors of interpersonal abuses. An example – very early in my work with

victims and survivors, while still relatively naïve and trusting, I subjected

myself to an interview with a journalist on a dark and wet Friday afternoon. I

can recall almost every detail of that afternoon – as clearly as one does

following a serious assault, rape or sexual abuse from childhood. It seemed

like a good time to do so as she required urgent quotes for a weekend breaking


Regrettably I told her – effectively first disclosures – things I had never

spoken about before – because they were exactly the sort of things she was

seeking for her article and because I could easily – or so I thought – provide

first hand accurate information. Almost one hour in, she caught sight of the

clock, stopped me in my tracks, told me she had enough “material “and raced

out of the door into a waiting taxi. She had the decency to call before being

swallowed up in traffic noise and apologised for her abrupt departure – citing

train times as her need for urgency.

And so, I sat, on a dark and rainy Friday afternoon, in a dark and empty

house, devoid of humans as the weekend had begun, shocked into utter silence

and immobility by the full force of what had happened. The emotions washed

over me, painful to the point of doubling over, clutching at my

Jo Wood -Milking Time

stomach and eventually wailing in

agony – emotional agony as the past

decades were dug up, raked over and

cast aside as “enough material” leaving

me to pick up the pieces.

And I decided in that moment, never

to subject any other victim or survivor

to such abuse and torture, no matter

what. It is no rare event.

Several times a month, well-meaning

journalists of printed matter, radio and

TV make contact for what we now call

“dial a victim” – specifying exactly the

type of “victim” they want to speak to

–anonymised of course – must be

under 30,preferably good looking

There is very little chance that she will

have had the opportunity to access any

form of counselling or aftercare

support so soon after the rape/assault/

abuse, so – telling a complete stranger

for the benefit of the perving masses

–it just isn’t going to happen.

Then the calls for “victims” – always

“victims” who may have been subject

to online abuse, rape following a date,

arranged through a dating agency,

someone abused on public transport,

in their home, by their father, by their

mother, on the number 26 bus, while

wearing a black skirt, after visiting a

“ it is gross exploitation of a victim in order to

bring a touch of reality to a news report"

it would be amazing if she could be a

virgin - and was out last weekend with

her friends in town, got raped on the

way home and has already reported to

the police – we want to know what it

was like going through the forensic

examination…………. How many things

are wrong with such an enquiry?

First of all it is gross exploitation of a

victim in order to bring a touch of

reality to a news report. Then there is

the recency of the events – the painful

rawness will only have just begun to

kick in.

It is unlikely that the victim will have

so far, or indeed ever, wish to tell

anyone about the horrors she has

recently endured – if she can even

remember them herself

particular club, while walking through

the woods, while under 18,while still a

virgin, at school, by a teacher, by a

doctor…………… like we have a handy

library of case studies sitting on

shelves in boxes – waiting to be

wheeled out and exploited for public

consumption, judgement and


So – the answer is generally – no – no

we don’t do that – we don’t do that

because any individual who has

recovered sufficiently from what

happened to them to leave our service

will only be retraumatised if we call

them up and say “Hey –fancy reliving

that hell you endured, with a

journalist who wants a decent

story? Anonymously of

course……you'll be OK, you’ve had


Wood You Believe It

And if they are still in service, the

impact could be even more traumatic –

an abuse of trust, a loss of confidence,

a loss of security and a feeling of utter

despair and exploitation – so no – we

don’t do that

Remember – in the eyes of the law

many “victims” are simply and remain

“alleged victims” because they never

report, police are never involved and

there has never been a prosecution –

so although we believe them and

support them 100% - we (support

services) are are unique in this

approach. For many survivirs of

interpersonal violence, we are the

ONLY organisations who will support

but no reputable, professional, safe

support agency would ever ask their

clients to take part in such.

It employs harmful and damaging

prejudices. It uses words of abuse –

historic, alleged, potential victim,

vulnerable, drunk……..the language of

abuse – the language of blame – the

language of retraumatisation with far

reaching and potentially fatal effects.

It can restart the cycle of personal

blame – the endless rehashing of one’s

personal experiences – the blame, the

recovery – the self-doubt and the loss

of trust in the sight of such blatant

exploitation. It is exploitive.

“ We don’t validate, we don’t ask for

proof.We support ”

unconditionally. We don’t VALIDATE,

we don’t ask for proof, we don’t get

references, seek information on

previous partners or sexual adventures

– we support that individual sitting in

front of us – or at the end of the


Yes we conduct risk and needs

assessments – as inconspicuously and

professionally as possible. Yes we

introduce safeguarding measures

where so indicated and yes we ensure

full and complete confidentiality at all

times but we never have “alleged


With so much in the media about child

sexual abuse, rape, exploitation and

trafficking, I guess it is only human

nature to want to hear first-hand from

those who have experienced it

It is harmful and without full and

compete – and often long-term care

and support – can be life changing or

life taking.

There will always be a handful of

survivors who want their voices to be

heard – and we will always support

them to be heard – but only after

careful consideration and assessment.

Ensuring they are in a good place

mentally and physically and are going

to be supported long after their story is

heard – that they understand the

potential harm they are invoking on

themselves and that they are going to

be helped to cope with the fallout and

aftermath when the public, including

past, present and future perpetrators

get to have their say and comment

Jo Wood Milking Time

The repercussions and impacts

of such disclosures are huge and

potentially damaging and this

point is missed in the rush for a

good story. Victims and

survivors are not “for sale” they

are not samples to be paraded

for funding purposes – they are

not case studies for public


It has to stop.


Need a question answered?

Submit it to CCChat on:

with QUESTION in the subject

heading and the question will be

posted in the next issue of CCChat

for a reader to answer.

CCChat -Raising Public Awareness

and Bringing Professionals


Most victim and survivor

supporting organisations are

staffed by qualified

professionals who will happily

give quotes and speak endlessly

about the impacts and effects of

interpersonal violence.

Listen to them

Get the reality in print but leave

the victims and survivors to


Once they have healed, leave

those wounds closed and stop

picking at the edges in the

hopes of some gory seepage that

might just make the front page.

Not for sale.

Not now.

Not ever.

Jo Wood Milking Time

Charity Insider

Suzy Lamplugh Trust



Lamplugh Trust was founded in 1986 by Paul and Diana

Lamplugh after their 25 year old daughter, Suzy, went missing

while she was working as an estate agent.

“Suzy Lamplugh Trust runs the

National Stalking Helpline.”

Since then, the charity has aimed to reduce the risk of violence and

aggression through campaigning, education and support. The charity's

vision is a society in which people are safer - and feel safer - from

violence and aggression.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust runs the National Stalking Helpline. The National

Stalking Helpline exists to provide practical advice and information for

victims of stalking and those supporting them. Since opening in 2010,

the helpline has assisted over 22,000 individuals, including ongoing

casework and advocacy work with a number of clients.

The helpline's aim is to empower victims of stalking to explore all options

available which can make them safer – including reporting to the Police,

taking civil legal action, and personal safety planning to manage risk.

Charity Insider

Suzy Lamplugh Trust /National Stalking Helpline

Suzy Lamplugh Trust receives

funding to develop and test new

interventions with stalking




Lamplugh Trust, which runs the National Stalking Helpline,

has today announced that it has secured funding from the Police

Transformation Fund,via the Mayor's Office for Policing And

Crime (MOPAC), for a pioneering project working with

perpetrators of stalking

“Recent research has found that 55% of stalking

perpetrators go on to reoffend, and 36% have a previous

conviction for harassment. .”

The initiative, which is the first of its kind worldwide, will aim to improve

responses to stalking across the criminal justice system and the health sector

through rehabilitative treatment for stalkers. Ultimately, it is hoped that

working with perpetrators can help to make victims of stalking safer.

Stalking is a devastating crime which is characterised by obsession and

fixation, and commonly causes prolonged suffering for victims. On average,

stalking lasts for six months to two years, with around a third of all cases

involving physical violence.

Recent research has found that 55% of stalking perpetrators go on to reoffend,

and 36% have a previous conviction for harassment. However, the complex

psychological issues associated with the crime often fail to be addressed

within current criminal justice solutions.

By contrast, the new intervention programmes will aim to gain a better

understanding of any mental health problems associated with stalking. The

countrywide pilots intend to use an integrated, multi-agency approach. The

initiative will assess risk, gain understanding of psychological drivers, and

encourage cessation and desistance of stalking behaviours.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust

The project will see the UK's leading

personal safety and stalking charity,

Suzy Lamplugh Trust, develop and test

perpetrator interventions in

conjunction with partners including

Cheshire Constabulary, Hampshire

Constabulary, the Metropolitan Police

Service, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey

Mental Health Trust, Southern Health

NHS Foundation Trust, and North

West Boroughs Healthcare NHS

Foundation Trust.

Chief Executive of Suzy Lamplugh

Trust, Rachel Griffin, said: "We're

delighted to be awarded this grant by

the Police Transformation Fund via


concerning behaviours are more likely

to be prevented from escalating if they

are recognised quickly. A continued,

specialist focus on preventing harm

and changing behaviour is necessary to

keep stalking victims safe.

It's fantastic to be at the forefront of

this ground-breaking piece of work;

our hope is that we can reduce the

impact that stalking has on victims."

Sarah Newton, Minister for Crime,

Safeguarding and Vulnerability said: "I

am pleased the Suzy Lamplugh Trust is

taking forward this important work

with the support of the Police

Transformation Fund, which will help

build our understanding of how best to

Chief Executive of Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Rachel

Griffin: "We're delighted to be awarded this grant "

This funding will allow us to work in

partnership with criminal justice and

health professionals across the country

to develop intervention programmes

for perpetrators of stalking.

At Suzy Lamplugh Trust, we are

committed to protecting victims of

stalking and, by working with

perpetrators, we hope to reduce


Stalking is a crime of obsession which

can have devastating and grave

consequences for victims. This project

aims to break the cycle of obsession,

fixation and harm. Studies have shown

that early intervention in stalking

cases can reduce the risk to victims,

and that

address stalking behaviours. Stalking

and harassment are devastating crimes

which cause great distress to victims.

That is why we have strengthened the

law and are taking steps to introduce a

new civil stalking protection order to

protect victims at the earliest possible


Five years ago this Government

created specific stalking offences to

ensure those responsible facejustice,

and through the Policing and Crime

Act 2017 the maximum sentences for

both stalking and harassment were

raised from 5 to 10 years.

We encourage police forces to continue

their efforts to protect victims and

pursue offenders.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Exposing SCAs*

*so called advocate



When can someone who works

with victims make the victim's situation


Answer: When the person in question is a


Hardly a day goes by without some form of contact from a victim or survivor

who discloses that the support they have received made their situation worse.

In fact, that is probably the mildest response I have had. Many more talk

about the advice given as being reckless, dangerous even. On more than one

occasion I have heard of victims having to leave social media because of

harassment and threats. Some have even become suicidal as a result. Threats

of police action and legal action are common but also threats to disclose

personal information, contact the perpetrator for 'verification', disclosure of

address details. The list goes on.

These aren't the common or garden variety of trolls that tap out bile for kicks.

These are people who claim to be *professionals*. People who offer to help

vulnerable people who are desperate and, unfortunately, ripe for exploitation

by the unscrupulous. These are people who can only be described as lab rat

scientists who experiment, who test out their dubious theories- all with the

aim of gaining recognition as a * Leader In Their Field*.

They use many tactics to snare the victim into utilising their services.

A popular one is discrediting all the major support providers.

Another one is by deliberately creating a situation of greater fear. The aim of

this is to get the victim to panic, to not think straight, to see the so called

advocate as their only hope. The only option to keep them protected, safe,

supported. It creates a codependancy on the so called advocate.

However you look at it, this kind of *help* is dangerous not just to the

individuals they come across but also to the sector.

It's not enough to ignore and hope they will go away. We need to talk about it.


The Lived Experience

"It's only stalking if he says it is."



did he hurt you?” the voice on the phone

asked. After several minutes of trying to

explain I was ready to put the phone down.

It was so painful having to fight to be heard, to educate in order to receive help, to

be told that the police cannot help unless I was physically hurt of threatened.

Coming out of a thirteen year marriage with a man, father of my children, who

repeatedly lied, stole, manipulated, has been the most exhausting, and testing time

of my life. Every charity, every person placed in organisations to protect me,

needing me to also teach them as to why I was scared.

My son was ill a few months back, immediate medics were sent out, hospital visits

followed. Weeks and months of worry. His father did not ask to see him or support

him. Did not call. Instead he concentrated on his needs, his financial status, his

need to cut down his maintenance. Until I noticed another pattern, what appeared

to be a new pattern in February.

Looking through bank statements to clarify financial matters, I found he was in the

shops at the bottom of my road regularly in November, and in December. Then

increasing in January to February, till he was at the carry out takeaway near my

house most nights. He mailed to tell me how important I still was to him, how much

I meant to him. He works long city hours, eats at work, and drinks heavily at the

highest profile places in London. Why come and get chips from the place near me

after a night out?

Walking out of my local library I saw a familiar figure walking away from my road.

As the figure drew closer I saw my ex, look away from me, angry, then look back

smiling, reconciliatory …… “I wasn’t doing anything”. What else can be said to that

with a child present? Someone who always worked long hours, never took time off

to help, was standing in front of me in his suit after not turning up to see the

children the day before. I ran home feeling my chest tightening, and rang my case

worker, in tears.

She failed to understand why I was so upset. “Did he threaten the children?” No.

“Well remember their also his children, and if he is paying maintenance you have no

right to stop him being near you or even in the house. Start earning your own money

or divorce him”.

An audible sigh of irritation on the other side of the phone.

Total erasure of my experiences.

The Lived Experience

"Think of the children, do you

really want them to go through

this with you?”.

The words stung and went against

everything I had read about charities ,

or support workers. I started keeping

the blinds closed during the day,

asking friends to look out for his car. If

I go out in the evening, which is rare, I

have people go with me on both

journeys, watch the kids, and provide

back-up should there be an emergency.

This man has stolen my post, did not

allow me to attend medical

appointments, had sex with me when I

slept, refused to use contraception,

strangled me in bed, and had my

computer tapped.

The responses I get are:

“he is gone now though, he cannot hurt


“did you fight back, did you tell him it

was not something he was supposed to


and “Think of the children, do you

really want them to go through this

with you?”.

Yet at night when I hear footsteps

outside the house, a cold vice gripping

my spine, the familiar chilled lava

seeps through my body. I hold my

breath as my brain races to the

children, passports, and emergency

cash . It will be ok.

He does not live here anymore.

What do you

think of the


version of


Let us know!

The Lived Experience

The Lived Experience:

Bad Practice

“ I needed to feel believed, and I

needed to feel safe”

I'm grateful to have had a fabulous

career in domestic violence and abuse

and I am also a survivor. So when I

needed help and support for rape, I

expected to find the same level of

trauma informed service that I provide

for others. I needed to feel believed,

and I needed to feel safe in their

specialist knowledge and support.

What I actually encountered was

deeply worrying. Upon reporting, I was

told that I should have used a 'safe

word', not just by one individual, but

two, from different types of


I found and still find this comment to

be a re-victimising and re-traumatising

statement. Specifically, this is victim

blaming at its ugliest.

I then looked into the different

practice models that are approved by

Rape Crisis.

and although my nearest centre was an

86 mile round trip out of county, I was

grateful to have found the

Empowerment Model and in my

humble opinion, Best Practice, as all of

my professional and personal values

were held within this model.

(*Survivors: It's worth noting here,

that if you cannot engage with an

individual or organisations practice,

you are entitled to seek support with

another practitioner elsewhere).

Although I had made a Police

statement, I have been unable to

progress with the ABE (Achieving Best

Evidence) video, a recorded statement

the police take. The irony does not

escape me that the statement cut

deeper than the rape but fortunately,

there's hope as there is no time limit in

bringing the perpetrator to justice

Bad Practice

“Untrained practitioners are


I have experienced and found that the

unconscionable conduct of some

individuals in the DV & VAW sector -

that I personally hold sacrosanct -

have far reaching consequences, not

only for the individual, but for the

wider community of victims and

survivors they allege to support; for

the police and Criminal Justice


Ultimately, it's accountability of the

perpetrator and justice and health and

wellbeing for the survivor. Analysing

the impact of this experience

highlights several issues for victims,

survivors and the 3rd Sector. This type

of poor practice model needs bringing

to cessation.Untrained practitioners

are dangerous.

Increase funding for longer

counselling sessions or community

therapeutic options and mandatory

trauma training for all practitioners.

It's not good enough that these

individuals and organisations go

unchecked and are not held

accountable. Professionally and

personally, Best Practice is where it's

at for survivors in the DVSA sector and

when an organisation supports a

model that mentally and physically

abuses a survivor, questions need to be


How do we hold these individuals to

account? To whom? How can we

implement Best Practice Models


The ramifications of not

addressing these issues will

have safeguarding and

economic consequences.


Because there is an open

joint constabulary to

remain anonymous.

investigation, the writer

Bad Practice

The Lived Experience:

False Allegations-

The Other Side of Injustice.

“It is a system that is, quite literally, set up to try us.”

Women are often ostracised for

suggesting that men commit rape

against women at an alarming rate.

Another issue that is linked concerns

false rape accusations.

If anyone has spoken out or reported

rape or sexual violence , you will know

how draining and emotionally taxing it

can be. The reporting process is brutal

whether male or female but

accusations of false allegations tend to

be directed at women.

Sometimes, the procedures and

repetative, questioning nature of

reporting can result in impacting

emotional health and wellbeing. It is a

system that is, quite literally, set up to

try us.

I attempted to report several times and

each time my mental health was badly

affected, the worry of not being

believed didn't help.

"I could sign a declaration stating I had

given a false statement "

I soon realised that it was a mistake.

The thought of that report always being

on file connected to my name. I felt that

it would always follow me and define

me and what happened to me would

always be used against me and I was

desperate to have all connection to it,


I was no longer in control of it and I

wanted it gone.

I spoke to police about dropping the

complaint and having it removed

completely, they informed me this

wasn't possible. They informed me I

either had to sign another declaration

stating I was being intimidated to drop

charges, which would make the

investigation more intense or I could

sign a declaration stating I had given

a false statement which would lead to


The Lived Experience

I was desperate and felt trapped. My

mental health prevented me from

continuing so the investigation

continued until I could take it no more.

Not surprisingly it was NFAd-no

further action - and I haveto live not

only with the connection to what

happened to me but the knowledge

that the file will remain accessible to

police whenever they wish to question

me again.

There are many in similar situations,

with similar feelings who have signed

that decaration to say they have given

a false statement which has led to

prosecution or a huge back lash.

She, like many other victims, needed

trauma therapy not to be accused of

making it up.

There are women who get

their rapist convicted but still, even

after conviction they are often accused

of lying.

Knowing,even after trial,the victim

could still face accusations of false

allegations or be further interrogated

is only one of many reasons why

women do not want to report.

It is a system that traps us.

“I was no longer in control of it and I wanted it gone. ”

There are many reasons why a victim

withdraws: Not wanting anything to do

with the process, feeling overwhelmed,

force/coercion to make the police

report, Lack of adequate information

prior to making a statement,

misleading information of the process,

wanting to forget it happened and

many other varients for agreeing to

sign the declaration that a false

allegation was made.

I knew a woman with moderate

learning difficulties who relived her

rape every day like ground hog day,

where each day she would report the

rape as a new rape.

Each time she was told she was lying

which only fuelled the trauma she was


There ARE women who make false

allegations and the reasons are not

always straightforward. These

situations need to be looked at

properly and dealt with appropriately.

Prison is not always the answer. There

are many reasons behind what appears

to be a false allegation and the intense

reaction from the media and the

baying for blood from certain groups

does nothing to help identify ACTUAL

allegations of falsehood.

Anyone who cheers when a woman is

accused of false reporting and accuses

a female rape victim of having lied

when her rapist has been convicted

needs to take a long hard look at their

motives and biases.

The Lived Experience

Rapists walk free all the time. Many

because the victim will not report,

others because there has not been

enough evidence for either the CPS to

take it on or because the high

threshold of 'beyond reasonable doubt'

has not been reached.

The conviction rate for rapists who

have been reported is less than 10%

but there are those who would prefer

to focus on the ones that get convicted

once they have been charged.

The notion that because one woman is

accused of lying, all women must be

lying - this is a thought process which

directly benefits violent men.

Men also make false accusations,

I find it interesting there are no

statistics for this.

“Anyone who cheers when a woman is accused of false

reporting and accuses a female rape victim when she .”

It is still easier for many to believe it is

better for a woman who has been

raped to suffer the injustice of not

having the perpetrator incarcerated

than to think of an innocent man

behind bars.

But what if this was

Your daughter?

Your mother?

Your sister?

Your girlfriend?

Would you still feel the same


Think about it.


"It ain't what you do, it's the

way that you do it"

With reference to the above

statement, how does this relate to

a person who advocates, supports

or raises awareness of abuse?

Is the message all that matters or

is the way it is conveyed

important also?

Please send responses to

using Discussion Point in the

subject heading. Results will be

published in October's CCChat.

The Lived Experience/ Discussion Point

VAWG Conference

Isle of Wight 22nd Nov 2017

Tickets from EventBrite

Isle of Wight Conference



Risk Paranoia



A number of people have contacted me

recently with accounts of so called

*professionals* in the sector who have

given poor, if not dangerous, advice.

This is of huge concern ( see the article

on Bad Practice) and is something I

would briefly like to touch on here. A

more comprehensive piece will be

posted in next month's CCChat but for


I have heard, on more than one

occasion, of SCAs ( so called

advocates) having such a negative

effect on victims and survivors that

they have had to come off social media

or have even contemplated suicide.

Much of this has been as a result of

bullying and threats that have put a

victim in fear, increased anxiety and

effectively silenced them from

speaking out.

In certain cases the SCA had personal

information they hold on the victim

and insinuated this would be put in the

public domain or made available to the

perpetrator. This is not all.

I am aware of SCAs who create panic

in a victim or survivor, informing them

that established support services will

fail them, that only they can keep a

victim safe thereby creating a

codependency on the SCA. This will be

explored in greater depth in the next

issue of CCChat.

Risk Paranoia

CCChat Goes Live!



first Coercive Control

Discussion Group will take place

in a town centre location in Bury

St Edmunds.

Make the Invisible Visible

This discussion group will meet periodically ( frequency dependant on

participants wishes and availability) and is open to frontline professions and

any one working with people who may be affected by coercive control.

The group will look at the recognition of coercive control, how it is being

viewed and is an ideal opportunity for practioners to share experiences in

order to gain greater understanding.

The group is suitable for:

Police Officers


Court Staff

Social Workers





Emergency Room Staff

Probation Officers

Victim Support

It is not a DV forum, it is a group for interested individuals to learn and share.

Anyone wishing to apply to the group will need to apply by email to

Further details coming soon.

CCChat Discussion Group

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