The Magazine on Coercive Control
MAKING THE INVISIBLE VISIBLE
THE LIVED EXPERIENCE
why we need to talk about it
BE A MAN!
Author Chris Hemmings, on the launch of his new
book, talks macho culture.
PROUD TO ANNOUNCE NEW
4 Welcome to this new magazine
edition of CCChat.
Be a Man
5 Chris Hemmings on his new
book and macho culture.
10 Why we need to start talking
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.
36 Coercive Control Conference in
Isle of Wight Nov 2017
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'
23 This month:
Suzy Lamplugh Trust
37 Why creating fear and panic is
as bad as ignoring risk.
35 Conversations we need to have.
CCChat goes Live!
39 Launching a new CC Discussion
Group in Bury St Edmunds
ABOUT THE EDITOR:
Min Grob started
Conference on Coercive
Control in June 2015
following a relationship
that was coercive and
Since then, there have
been three national
and a newsletter. 2018
will see the start of
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
photo by Alex Kilbee of https://www.museportraits.co.uk/
Chris Hemmings on
BEING A MAN
Chris Hemmings - Be A Man
Chris Hemmings is
an author, journalist
His book BE A MAN
has recently been
published and is
available as a
paperback and as a
Chris on what
inspired him to write
the book and on
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
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
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
Chris Hemmings - BE A MAN
Marital Rape - ANONYMOUS
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
Those around me reacted -predictably
it turns out- by retreating. By avoiding
me. with dismissive
responses, discomfort, even with
MARITAL RAPE - ANONYMOUS
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
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
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.
London Stansted Training Academy
A New Way
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 Essex, Herfordshire, Bedfordshire
07948 419878 firstname.lastname@example.org
London Stansted Training Academy
Meet Jo Wood, resident
columnist at CCChat.
This month Jo talks about
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
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
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
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.
ASK THE AUDIENCE
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
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.
Jo Wood Milking Time
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.
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
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,
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
Suzy Lamplugh Trust
*so called advocate
When can someone who works
with victims make the victim's situation
Answer: When the person in question is a
SO CALLED ADVOCATE
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
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
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
Let us know!
The Lived Experience
The Lived Experience:
“ 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
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
“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
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
Because there is an open
joint constabulary to
investigation, the writer
The Lived Experience:
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
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
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 manage.to get
their rapist convicted but still, even
after conviction they are often accused
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
But what if this was
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
Please send responses to
using Discussion Point in the
subject heading. Results will be
published in October's CCChat.
The Lived Experience/ Discussion Point
Isle of Wight 22nd Nov 2017
Tickets from EventBrite
Isle of Wight Conference
CREATING FEAR AND PANIC IS AS BAD AS
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
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.
CCChat Goes Live!
first Coercive Control
Discussion Group will take place
in a town centre location in Bury
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:
Emergency Room Staff
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