Sam Billingham & Jen Gilmour
Meet the women whose own experiences
inspired them to support others.
Dr Jane Monckton Smith
Introducing The Homicide Timeline
Dr Craig Malkin -
Interview with the narcissist expert .
The Lived Experience - Learning from survivors who
have lived through it
4 A few words.
Dr Jane Mockton Smith
5 Revisiting DART
Talking Homicide Timeline
Building An Empire
13 £1 at a time
Dr Craig Malkin
16 Interview with the expert of
22 The founder of SODA goes from
strength to strength
24 A woman on a mission
27 Meet Liza Thompson, CEO of
So Many Blind Eyes
34 *Rebecca's* story
Survivor of Narcissistic Abuse
38 An anonymous account of a
Beware the Unscrupulous
10 SCA Red Flags of the so-called
14 Topics for discussion.
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 which
has developed into a
magazine. 2018 will see
the start of CCChat
Discussion Groups as
another Conference on
Coercive Control to be
held in June 2018, in
Gloucester- so clear your
Min is particularly
interested in looking at
perpetrator tactics and
how they can be
identified and has spoken
on how to differentiate
discourse and deliberate
baiting and goading. By
using examples from
social media to illustrate
the various tactics aimed
at provoking a response
and how it is concealed,
Min hopes to enable a
better understanding of
abuse that resides below
the radar to be able to
identify nearer to
To get in touch email:
Welcome to the 2nd edition of
It has been an eventful month, to say the least. In under a
week over a thousand read the magazine ( thank you all)
and the feedback has been amazing so, thank you again!
The publication of the magazine has also resulted in some
unpleasantness which has included attempts by some at
smearing. Whether it is a coincidence or not, I have
written about some of these issues in this edition and
leave you to draw your own conclusions.
This month we will be looking to open a discussion on
some of the most vulnerable in society - the elderly with
dementia. There are huge difficulties in evidencing and
safeguarding patients who show signs of being abused
but have capacity and deny it. This needs to be given the
prominence it is currently lacking. What are your
thoughts/experiences on this?
Sex is another discussion point for next month. When is
it appropriate for work colleagues to date/have an
intimate relationship? What about if it is a charity and
the relationship is between staff and clients? Email me
I will end by saying a massive THANK YOU to all the
contributors who have made CCChat Magazine such an
essential and thought provoking read. It's time to have
the conversation. See you next month! Min xx
Dr Jane Monckton Smith
is a forensic criminologist , developer of
DART (Domestic Abuse Reference Tool)
and a senior lecturer and an independent
DHR chair. CCChat previously
interviewed Dr Monckton Smith in the
stalking edition in June 2017. We are
here to find out about some exciting
Dr Jane Monckton Smith
Dr Jane Monckton Smith
Dr Monckton Smith, thank you so much for
agreeing to this interview In June, we talked
about DART, what it is and how it can be used
alongside the DASH. I know that you have
recently made it more accessible, in what
We are constantly developing the dart app, adding new content, taking
feedback and including new research. We are now out of the peer review stage,
so are able to offer the dart app for just 99p. We are also proud to be able to
say that we are able to offer dart to any agency helping victims for no charge.
Dart has over 500 pages of information and I have included a few sample
pages to illustrate what kind of information we have included. You never know
when you might need it!
You have recently been involved in research around the homicide
timeline, what did you find?
Having looked at hundreds of cases now, and worked with families and
professionals, I have managed to construct a temporal sequence - or timeline,
for an intimate partner homicide. There are 8 key stages, and each stage offers
opportunities for intervention, and indicates increasing risk. It’s absolutely
fascinating and some people who are bereaved by homicide have said its sent
a shiver down their spine, and that it accurately reflects their experience.
We will be publishing it as soon as we can, and as soon as it has been through
We have started a blog which will give updates on dart, the timeline, the
projects of the Homicide Research Group at the University of Gloucestershire,
and the work of Forensic Criminology in Homicide prevention.
And a final question: what is your all time favourite song?
It’s too difficult to pick just one song as a favourite, but there is a song which
really gets inside my head, and more often than not makes me cry! It’s Only
love can hurt like this by Paloma Faith. It’s just so visceral and heartfelt, it
captures some of the pain of loss which is such a huge part of my life and my
Dr Jane Monckton Smith
“We are hoping to have the
conference in the first week in
In June you talked about a
collaboration with Prof Evan
Stark, is there more you can
Professor Stark and myself are so
busy!! We are planning a book
together which talks about our
different experiences of case work.
Evan works on cases in court where
abused women have killed their
abusers, and I work with families who
have lost relatives through abuse and
stalking, so our perspectives represent
two diverse outcomes of abuse.
It’s a fascinating project.
CCChat and Conference on
Coercive Control are thrilled that
the next Conference on Coercive
Control will be held at the
University of Gloucestershire.
It’s definitely going to be the best
conference yet, I’m holding back
for now as it’s still in the
organisation stage but is there
anything you’d like to say/
announce about Gloucester?
We are hoping to have the conference
in the first week in June!! Just need to
start pinning down some awesome
Thank you for allowing CCChat to
interview you. We look forward
to further updates.
To download the DART
follow these links:
Google play store:
Dr Jane Monckton Smith
You can check out the blog
(£1at a time)
Building an Empire
Defending Accusations of
ach morning I wake up around 4.30 am. To be more precise,
my heart wakes me up. The residual effect of what happened is
extreme anxiety and panic attacks.
These are generally kept under control with the use of
betablockers and other meds, but they wear off during the
night, meaning my racing heart is my wake up call. My ticketytock-ticker,
if you will.
One side-effect of the medication is weight gain which isn't great, but there IS a
silver lining. My skin is now stretched so taut, I don't have wrinkles. Yay! Once I'm
up, I use that time productively. The house is free of the sounds of boisterous
children so I check what has come in during the night and plan my day.
The magazine, the conference, the public speaking is only a small fraction of what I
do. Many assume I'm on Twitter all day and, to a point, they wouldn't be wrong but
what is not known is that whilst on Twitter, I'm often also on DM, email, or the
telephone talking with someone and trying to do the best I can to reassure and offer
a listening ear or practical help in a world where support is piecemeal- and not just
in the UK but all over. Social media has made the world more accessible so, often, I
work around the clock.
I don't really know what to call myself - a sounding board is probably a fair
description - much of what I do consists of talking to people who get in contact to
ask for advice, to be signposted to a service or just to talk to someone who
understands. The majority of these conversations are about court hearings with
abusive exes, contact, divorce, financial matters - sometimes it's because of a letter
from social services, a phone call from Cafcass, a broken contact arrangement,
concerns over family members, friends, work colleagues. The list goes on.
Sometimes they have lawyers, sometimes legally aided but not always,
sometimes IDVAs or friends support but what is becoming a growing constant is
the need to talk to someone who *gets it* . Someone who has been there and,
crucially, who has come out the other side. Often I am contacted for something else.
This might be as support when a letter or an email arrives and they need someone
there to hold their hand - even if it is only telephonic hand holding. Often it is help
with drafting a letter or a court application or a position statement because many
self represent as litigants in person and distress does not help with focus.
Sometimes it's because of triggers, of flashbacks, a forgotten memory that has
resurfaced unwanted an anniversary. I have picked up the phone to many who have
been shaken, are sitting in their car, in their lunch hour - needing to talk. I ask only
two things: 1. Message me to check if I'm free 2. Phone me.
Many a time, I have had to schedule a phone
call for the early hours, the middle of the
night to account for time differences. It may
be night time here but elsewhere in the world
it is still a working day.
It is fair to say that I am the last port of call,
the end of the road for many. If they could
visit counsellors, therapists, lawyers, support
services, online fora etc, they would. I spend
significant time signposting, calling on a
network of trusted professionals to guide me
if I'm completely clueless, forever asking
questions that I am so grateful they reply to.
Without them, what I do would not be
possible and it leaves vulnerable people at
risk of being exploited, likely online, at risk
of being sucked in by the permanently and
steadfastly embittered who are unable to
look beyond their suffering to see that there
is hope, there is always hope.
It's not all doom and gloom though, not all
picking up the pieces. Much of what I do is
practical. Coping mechanisms, silly jokes,
distraction techniques, breathing exercises.
Anything to lessen the trauma, the distress,
To be able to do this and still be able to feed
my children, pay the bills, I charge my time
out at £1 an hour. Yes. One pound. It's not a
misprint. I don't charge the person calling
me, of course not.
I charge my time out at £1.00 per hour and
claim it back from any conferences and talks.
I need to be clear on this. I do NOT charge
for my time organising the conferences, the
talks, putting together CCChat. I charge my
time for the many hours of talking to those
who call for help - because that is EXACTLY
what it is - A call for help.
“ They have come to me purely because all avenues
have been exhausted, they have nowhere left to go.”
It's impossible to turn someone away
knowing they have come to me purely
because all avenues have been exhausted,
they have nowhere left to go or there was
never anything there for them where they
live and I, unqualified though I am, am
better than nothing. T
hat is a harsh fact to digest and one that gives
me the drive and focus to carry on doing
what I do but I really wish this wasn't the
case. I really wish they had more than me to
fall back on.
It means huge sacrifices need to be made
because I refuse to give up but realistically, I
don't know how long I can sustain living on a
pittance. I do this because a few years ago,
that was me. Desperately looking for
someone to talk to, someone who
understood. Someone who could talk me
through it or distract me from it. I would
have loved to have had somone like me to
talk to, when it was at its worst. To be
reassured that things will change, it will get
I am immensely lucky and grateful that
most of the speakers at the conferences I
have organised have done so for free.
Without them I would not be able to carry
on the main part of what I do and I can
not thank them enough.
Why do I feel the need to justify myself?
Recently I have encountered some
unpleasantness on what I do and how I
do it. Various attacks have included:
being a fraud, getting rich off the backs of
victims, exploiting the abused, attention
seeking, being a manipulative empire
builder, misusing data. I even made
someone pay for their lunch in a story
that was wildly distorted.
If the stories of *getting rich off the backs
of victims and the taxpayer* were true - at
£1/hr, it's going to take quite some time
to rake in zillions I am apparently only
interested in. I may not live to see it....
Building an Empire
I spend hours reassuring people that they
can and will get out and they can and will
move on. I STILL remember what it was like
to live in fear with no one to talk to, I still
remember the pacing Maybe I should
become a charity, bid for someof the ever
diminishing pot of public public money.
maybe that would assuage the fears of all
those who think of me as corrupt.
Maybe I should put my hand in a pot that is
already heaving with high demand so that
the picky can read my accounts. The irony is,
I can't spare the time, I am simply too busy.
I don't charge £40/hr hour for a session I
don't charge £2,000 for a performance I
don't charge for my time organising.
I charge my time out at £1.00 an hour to talk
to people who contact me from all over the
world because the abuse is ongoing, their
distress continuing. If that makes me a
manipulative empire builder, so be it, but I
will wear that label with my head held high.
Building an Empire
Dr Craig Malkin
interview with the
expert on narcissists.
Dr Craig Malkin
Dr Craig Malkin
Dr. Craig Malkin is
Lecturer in Psychology
for Harvard Medical
School and a licensed
psychologist with over
two decades of
experience in helping
His research on the role
of relationships in
has been published in
has called his blog
Romance Redux “an
He is a frequent
Huffington Post. After
teaching in local
universities, . In 2003,
he left this position to
expand his private
practice and continued
to supervise and teach
for Harvard Medical
you so much for agreeing to this
interview. I am thrilled to be
interviewing you as I have followed
what you do for nearly 4 years and have
referred many people to your excellent
book Rethinking Narcissism.
You have contributed to a new book out which
is getting a lot of attention but before we get on
to that, let’s start off gently..Are you a shower
or a bath person?
Definitely shower. Love that massage setting!
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Lately I’m an early bird—because twins. But I’m
generally the last one to wind down at a dinner party.
For the benefit of those who don’t know, what
do you do?
I’m a clinical psychologist, author, blogger (huffington
post and psychology today), lecturer for Harvard
medical school, and expert on narcissism.
What made you go into this line of work?
At the start of college I planned to be a novelist (I’d
written since I was tiny), and since my favorite authors
all seem to be astute psychologists, I decided to major
in psychology. My thinking was if I understood enough
about human nature going to build a believable
character from the ground up.
In my junior year I began helping out a runaway
shelter and fell love with clinical work. From there it
was easy: I decided to attend graduate school to
become a clinical psychologist.
Dr Craig Malkin
Which question makes you
How can you stand listening to
people’s problems all day? Frankly, I
consider it an honor that people trust
me with their deepest feelings and
struggles. And it takes tremendous
courage to seek help.
Do you spend all your time
analysing people or can you
switch off easily?
How do people react when you
tell them what you do?
Since my wife is in the field to,
generally they asked me if we sit
around analyzing each other all the
time. The next question I'm usually
asked is are you analyzing me right
now. Usually I say it “never even
crossed my mind until you asked me
that question!” Which has the benefit
of being true.
I know I asked you questions on
this before but, what, in your
opinion is the most
misunderstood, the biggest myth
in the understanding of
When people think of the words
narcissism or narcissist they tend to
think of loud vain, preening, boastful
braggarts. But that’s a caricature;
many narcissists or extremely quiet.
I’m analysing you now you asked that
;-) . Actually, I find it easy to switch to
relaxed listening mode, but we’re all
psychologists in a way—everyone’s
constantly thinking about why others
might say or do what they do, even if
its just a quiet question in the back of
their minds. In that sense, I probably
devote as much energy to analyzing in
social settings as anyone else. Maybe
less, because I like to turn that part of
my mind off.
Here is a question for Mrs
Malkin: What’s it like to be
married to an expert on
“It’s the best experience ever and he’s
the best husband on the
Sorry, I can’t resist but I have to ask.
Do you like talking about yourself????
Sorry, did you say something? I was
just finishing an important thought.
Actually, I’m comfortable enough
sharing about myself with others, but
I’m mindful of talking too long. That’s
generally a sign I’m worried about
Dr Craig Malkin
You’re in a new book which has a
whopper of a title. (The Dangerous
Case of Donald Trump) What made
you contribute to this book?
The editor, a fabulous scholar and
colleague, Bandy Lee, approached me. I
was actually swamped with a renovation
and other big project and not in a great
position to take it on. But she was so clear
in her vision, so convincing about the
importance of educating the public, and
so committed to getting me on board as a
narcissism expert who could speak to that
piece of the book, that I ended up happily
I had to really push to generate a chapter
before the personal chaos hit, but now I’m
so glad I did.
What is a typical day for you?
Wake up, get the girls to the school bus,
work out, eat, teach and then see clients,
and on Thursdays, add in some writing.
How do you switch off from work?
Exercise, exercise, exercise. And
reminding myself that my time with my
girls and my wife is precious and not to be
wasted so I havet o be as present as
possible so I can truly savor the
“If Trump asked you for your advice, what
would it be? Seek therapy. ”
I haven’t read the book yet but it is
on my list so, apologies if you have
addressed this but if Trump asked
you for your advice, what would it
Seek therapy. Please. And stay off twitter.
Maybe wear mittens so you can’t type
What would you say to someone
who is worried that they might be
If you take real emotional risks—seeking
help when you need it, sharing when your
sad or scared or lonely and truly turning
to others for mutual care and support (a
style of interaction known as secure
attachment in the research) , you have
absolutely nothing to worry about. .
Finally, you’re stranded on a
desert island. Which 3 things
could you not live without? You
are not allowed to say people or
If we’ve got basic needs like food and
water covered: Music Video Streaming
A weight bench--in the shade of
Thank you so much for giving up
your time to be interviewed, it’s
been a real privilege. Now all
that remains is for me to say,
enough about you, let’s talk about
Dr Craig Malkin
Samantha Billingham, the founder of SODA
now offers online support nationwide.
SODA (Survivors of Domestic Abuse), was
set up in April 2009 by survivor Samantha
Billingham who left her own abusive
relationship in November 2006.
Samantha originally set up an online support
group in the hope of raising awareness and
reducing isolation. The group is still active
today with over 900 members world wide.
Today, Samantha raises awareness through
the power of social media, educates through
the power of presentation and supports men,
women and children who have experienced
or who are experiencing domestic abuse by
offering online support or one to one
As well as offering support, Samantha
signposts survivors to other agencies
to help them get the support they need
Samantha says, "The difference with
SODA is that we offer instant support.
We don't put survivors on a waiting
list, we support people across the Black
Country, Dudley Borough and
nationwide. Our support is not
dependent on where you live and
SODA supports all survivors".
is a woman on a
Author, Jennifer Gilmour wrote Isolation Junction to raise
awareness of domestic abuse, She has recently started
hosting an online support group on this very subject
#AbuseTalk takes place each Wednesday on Twitter from
8-9pm GMT . Follow or participate, using the hashtag.
#AbuseTalk will it look at specific discussion topics,
include an online Book Club devoted to books on domestic
abuse and that's not all, from next month,
Jennifer will be linking in with
readers of CCChat on various
topics centred around coercive
For more info visit
Interview with the CEO of
SATEDA Liza Thompson
Thompson is CEO of SATEDA
-Swale Action To End Domestic Abuse-
(www.sateda.org) which provides support and
advocacy as part of the Kent Domestic Abuse
Liza very kindly agreed to be interviewed.
Hi Liza, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. I thought we'd start
off gently, are you a shower or a bath person?
Bath – with a book
Early bird or a night owl?
Both – I am pretty hyperactive!
You are the CEO of Sateda which is based in Kent. For the benefit
of those who don’t know, could you tell us a little more about
Sateda and what you do?
SATEDA is a charity with the aim of ending domestic abuse. We offer a
journey of support for victim/survivors of domestic abuse. From crisis
intervention, through to longer term emotional and practical support,
assisting our clients with picking up the pieces which are inevitable left
following an abusive relationship.
We also provide counselling, freedom programme and a following group
programme called Power2Change. This offers those involved in the groups an
opportunity to explore their worth. The participants soon begin to realise they
are all worthy of respect and have a value in the world. We also offer a
volunteer programme which builds upon their developing self-esteem and we
have trained volunteers working within all of our programmes, in essence, this
means that our new clients are supported by their peers, who are all experts
through their own experience.
Liza Thompson, CEO SATEDA
What made you go into this line
I have always been interested in social
justice and I believe that violence
against women and girls is an
enduring social injustice which erodes
all women’s choices.
Male violence continues to be an
accepted fact across society and this is
damaging to boys, girls, men and
women. I realised I was a feminist
after I had my daughter, before then I
could see the ongoing reality of
gendered labour divisions, the glass
ceiling and expectations upon mothers
to behave in a particular way, which do
not affect men in the same way.
We have twenty staff and around 25
volunteers supporting victim/survivors
of domestic abuse across Swale and
Medway. I am currently in the process
of writing up my PhD thesis which is
entitled “Impossible Expectations? A
Study of the Experiences of Abused
Mothers in the Child Protection
System” and the research which I have
carried out has helped me shape the
services we now provide – putting
women at the heart of way.
“ I became determined that he would not have expectations
lumped upon his “masculinity” due to his gender."
I did not want my daughter growing up
in a world where she had any less
chances to fulfil her ambitions than a
When I had my son, I became
determined that he would not have
expectations lumped upon his
“masculinity” due to his gender.
This is when I realised that my passion
for social justice, my feminist views
and my law degree should be used to
I started out for the first three years as
an IDVA directly supporting high risk
victims of domestic abuse, and when
the founder of SATEDA left to pursue
new challenges I was asked by our
Board of Trustees to step in to the
role. Now here I am four years later!
How do people react when you
tell them what you do? Outside of
the DV sector that is!
I either get a disclosure of abuse,
historic or current, either about them
or someone they know – or, anger and
disbelief that DA even exists and an
argument that some women enjoy it,
some women ask for it, and women are
also violent to men.
Both of these responses tell me that we
have a long way to go until the
acceptance of intimate and gendered
violence is a thing of the past. I f all we
Liza Thompson, CEO SATEDA
I can't secure funding to pay them any
more than they are paid – yet they
pesevere because it’s what gets them
out of bed in the morning.
My staff and volunteers literally save
lives – they help people rebuild their
lives and then they help people to grow
into who they always wanted to be –
yet they would earn more money
stacking shelves in a supermarket.
I work 50-60 hours a week, a lot of the
time is spent writing funding bids – to
get the funding to provide these
services – it’s highly competitive.
What do you consider to be the
most important qualities in
someone working with victims?
Grit and resilience – empathy and
patience – and to be as non-judgemental
as is possible for a human being.
How would you respond to
someone who feels that getting
funding for support services is
I once had someone tell me that people
who work for charities shouldn’t be paid,
it should all be voluntary – that just about
sums up what the public know about
What I would like to impress on anyone
who thinks that support services are
easily funded is that I have the most
amazing people working for me, people
who set the world alight with their
passion and dedication to the injustice of
domestic abuse, half of them are
volunteers – the half who are paid could
be paid more working in a fast food
There are more charities, trying to help
the ever-increasing number of people
who are being missed due to the
impact of austerity, all fighting for less
money. And there are still a lot of
people out there who don’t believe that
victim/survivors of domestic abuse
should be given support – we stood in
a shopping centre for five hours with
our campaign material asking people
to pledge that they stand against
domestic abuse, and aside from the
odd negative remark and even a couple
of veiled threats, we had no-one sign.
We asked “do you care about domestic
abuse” and the overall response was
“no” – that is how hard it is to secure
funding and support for our support
services. Yet everyone can tell you a
story of someone they know who has
been in an abusive relationship.
Liza Thompson SATEDA
Who do you admire?
My first reaction to this is P!nk – she is
my hero, she uses her platform to speak
truths and she rocks! A more considered
reaction is that I admire every single
woman who is pushing on, regardless of
their struggles, making every day count as
best they can – I especially admire all of
the women I have supported over the
years, they are truly the strongest and
most resilient people I have ever come
across. I also admire the men who are
using their male privilege to speak for
women because they know that a world
that is unequal is not good for them
either. I love the work of Maya Angelou,
Lena Dunham and Caitlin Moran. I
admire my mum who put fire in my belly,
even though she doesn’t know it and I
miss and admire my nan who made me
promise, when she knew she was going to
die, not to waste a single day and to make
every day count.
What advice would you give to
someone who didn’t want to
There will come a day and time when you
have had as much as you can take, and on
that day rest assured there are people out
there who believe you, who want to help
you and will not judge you for not leaving
In the meantime, try and confide in
someone, give them a bag of your clothes
and (if it’s safe) your documents,
especially benefits entitlement letters,
passport, and documents you can use for
Tell someone who lives near to you a code
word, so that if you need urgent help you
can call or text and it won’t arouse
Liza Thompson SATEDA
What is a typical day for you?
6.45-7.30 – hit snooze button repeatedly
7.30 – 8.30 – get ready, while doing the
washing, cleaning and tidying, and
checking emails while I go - a successful
day for me depends on my ability to
8.30-10.00 – school run – and straight
into the gym (conveniently situated at the
10-4.00 – meetings, meetings, meetings
4-4.30 – collect children from school
5-7.00 – make dinner, help the kids with
their homework, cleaning, answer emails,
more multi-tasking 7
7- 11pm – either working on Sateda
funding bids, reports, plans – or working
on my thesis
11-12.00 – bed
When you are ready to leave, if you want
to report the abuse to the police, please
know that they are getting so much better
at responding to domestic abuse –
however, try and access support from
your local domestic abuse service as they
will have excellent people who will go
with you to the police and advocate for
you during what may be a very stressful
time for you.
However, you don’t have to report –
and you can report and then withdraw
your statement if you want to - that is
your right. You have choices. Please also
know that you are stronger than you give
yourself credit for – you have survived
things that other people wouldn’t even
understand. You deserve to be treated
with respect, you have value and you are
How do you switch off from work?
I love weight training – it gives me
something to focus on which is not
domestic abuse related!
What positive changes in terms of
victim support have you seen in
your time at Sateda and what still
needs to be done?
In the last ten years, everyone has started
to talk about domestic abuse, it is not as
hidden as it was – this is good, however
what has happened is we now have many
more people to support and less funding.
Councils are now interested in supporting
DA victims beyond simply housing
provision in refuge - as they know that
reducing victimisation will reduce impact
of local NHS, Police, housing services –
and so councils are commissioning DA
services in an attempt to enforce some
sort of uniformity across areas. However
this is threatening to eradicate small,
local, passionate, specialist organisations
as commissioners tend to favour bigger
organisations with lower overheads and
better back office functions.
Liza Thompson SATEDA
“I have the most amazing people working for me, people
who set the world alight with their passion and dedication
to the injustice of domestic abuse.”
So its good that DA has become a
policy issue and its great that central
and local government want to be
involved in working towards
eradicating DA, however, as we see
time and time again with services, the
little person gets lost and we are the
ones who have the victims are the
heart of what we do, we are not the
number chasers, or the pen pushers, or
the bureaucrats – we are the doers,
and we will keep doing with or without
It would just be so nice to be funded
properly for the work we do so well!
What do you do to relax?
Well…..once upon a time I used to read to
relax, a lot, but at the moment I am
spending all my spare time writing up my
thesis so relaxing time is minimal. But
once a week, on a Sunday afternoon, I like
to snuggle with my children on the sofa,
watch rubbish telly and play Cooking
Fever on my iPad!
If you were given 3 wishes, what
would they be?
An end to violence against women and
girls across the whole world For there to
be more tolerance and kindness in
general More hours in the day!
Liza, Thank you so much for giving
up your time.
Liza Thompson Sateda
So many blind eyes…
Rebecca's (not real name) story.
rapes do not occur down a dark alley, just as most
sexual assaults are not carried out by strangers
seizing an opportunity. I am not going to back this
with statistics because statistics belong to academic
For a victim, it is much more than a sexual crime…it is an attack on her whole
personality, her mind and her body. A crippler of the will and an enemy of self
esteem. But if I were a person of statistics I would likely be ‘proving’ that Mr
Average rapes and sexually assaults Ms. Average. The harmful assumption
that both rapist and victim are somehow different to most members of society
is the kind that feeds the popular view “that if a rapist can’t be labelled a
‘monster’ or a ‘fiend’, then he probably isn’t a rapist at all” (Toner, 1977.)
Many, if asked would probably remember a time when told of a crime,
whether it be a man assaulting his wife, sexually abusing his partner, accused
of raping an acquaintance…that their initial thought was, ‘but he seemed so
quiet, so lovely, so kind.’ The idea that such a person could intentionally harm
another can be shocking. But ask yourself when you hear of a robbery, an
assault on the street, do the same thoughts cross your mind? And the other
aspect to look at is power and control. Which I will come back to further on.
My ex partner when I met him was known as the ‘fixer’ for many, he had many
women friends and confidantes. He attended to a friend who had been
assaulted by her partner and gave updates on her recovery. He had been
outraged on her behalf, this was in the early days and I remember being quite
moved by his sensitivity and support. He cried at sad films, and felt injustices
small and large. He taught lectures on feminism and inequality. He didn’t
raise his voice, and rarely argued. My brother asked me when I first pressed
charges, ‘did I know what happens if he gets ‘done’, do I know the seriousness
of what I am doing?’ He later explained that his initial thoughts were based on
his assumptions that he saw my ex partner as ‘weak and immature and in
love’. How could he have done what I said in this case?
* A pseudonym
He possibly was all of the
descriptions…he was possibly weak
when he pushed me over for asking a
question he did not want to answer, or
when he knocked my jaw out of
alignment on another occasion. He
was probably immature when he tried
to tear our child from my arms when I
said I was leaving him, or when he
later came upstairs and forced me to
“to prove that he loves me”. And on
another occasion when I had tried to
end the relationship after a
particularly bad attack, he maybe did
believe that he loved me when he
bombarded me with tears and flowers
and phonecalls until I took him back. I
know I believed him.
Life can change in a heartbeat but the
fear remains for a long time. Leaving
an abusive relationship is usually just
the beginning of the journey for
For most recovery is a long road with
many pitfalls, not least facing the
societal reaction to abuse.
I pressed charges, but thousands don’t.
I can understand why they don’t. I
remember deliberating over this for
several days. I couldn’t eat and I
couldn’t sleep, I wanted it to stop, the
abuse, the fear…then I told the
“he maybe did believe that he loved me when he bombarded me
with tears and flowers and phonecalls until I took him back. I know I
believed him. ”
The abuser, rapist, coercive controller
can look charming to other people.
When I left him, he would ask people
to look out for me and report to him if
they saw me, and people would comply
because he was so genuine and they
wanted to help him avoid a ‘scene’;
should I arrive in all my hysteria.
He would then appear at the
coordinates given. Maybe it is easier to
view a woman as a potential hysteric
rather than a man as a potential
The reality often looks rather different
to the perceptions. Friends and even
family members distance themselves,
institutions (supposedly unbiased)
Their reaction shocked me at the time
as I always believed that support
would be forthcoming. I, who already
had crippling moments of doubt, was
told to think about how it felt for my
abuser that I had pressed charges.
I was asked on the phone before any
arrangements were made for me, to
think about how I imagined he was
feeling? Not once did she ask how I
was feeling. How it had felt to describe
scenes of violence to the police,
support workers, family, close friends.
But I had to try and put myself in his
Now I would answer the question very
differently, I would ask the professor
to imagine how I’d put two years of
guesswork into how he may be feeling
at any given time, usually because so
much depended on guessing his mood,
it had become second nature to me. It
had dictated family life.
One in four women will experience
abuse in their lifetime, and many will
not report but live as best as they can
with the scars whether this be physical
or emotional. There is a reason for this
and in this is the reason why I write…
“If someone is powerful – some of the
agents may have said, he is a little bit
oily, a little bit…he might pester you,
but don’t worry go in…”
Explaining further Thompson tells us
of a system built with “blind eyes”. One
which makes the victims responsible
for what has happened to them.
But what has to happen is society must
open their eyes and say, “this is
happening, and it must stop”.
“Society must open their eyes and say, “this is
happening, and it must stop”.
We live in a climate of misogyny, a
climate where violence against women
is ignored or minimised, much the
same as abuse itself is. In the news at
the moment we are publicly privy to
what had been the private torment of
many women – the abuse towards
them from Harvey Weinstein.
Numerous stars have now come
forward with their stories – Kate
Beckinsdale has told how she was
called a ‘cunt’ when she resisted his
advances. And Emma Thompson also
spoke powerfully on a system that
expects women to firstly be quiet, and
then to pray it goes away and then to
be the ones who call out on the abuse.
Maybe you disagree with this mixing
up rape, sexual assault and Harvey
Weinstein. There is a connection
though and it is always based on power
and control and a deep dislike and fear
Weinstein believed his position gave
him the power to abuse the women
and the girls. And he believed his
power and prestige would be enough
to keep him from consequence, would
ensure their silence. This is the same
in a rape in an alley, a rape carried out
by an intimate partner or
When I first wrote it was for me, to
process what I had lived, to make sense of
the senseless. I understood pretty early
on that abuse is something rarely talked
If people were robbed, assaulted on a
night out or had their homes broken into,
that could be spoken about. Then I was
surprised by how many women had
similar experiences, worse experiences or
not as bad experiences. And the recurring
theme was one of feeling silenced.
Close behind came shame and the feeling
that somehow, no matter what level of
abuse, that they were responsible, that
they shared some blame for what had
happened to them. Silence is the biggest
friend of those who commit violence
against women and girls, from the
alleyway, to our homes, to the casting of
After all in 2017 Weinstein has his
defenders blaming those who are
speaking out for ‘dressing the way they
do’ or ‘wanting coverage’. There are some
asking why didn’t they come forward. His
brother Bob Weinstein when asked why
he didn’t intervene answered that he had
tolerated his behaviour “because it didn’t
rise to a certain level”.
The problem is women are very rarely the
decider’s of the ‘level’, it’s instead brushed
away, minimised and in this can also be
found the answer to why the women
didn’t come forward sooner.
Rape, sexual assault, abuse are serious
crimes, so why should we feel ashamed to
speak out? If it can help one other person,
I’ll mention it. I’ll write about it. I’ll fully
disclose every time I see an opportunity
that my story can unlock a door for
another to feel less ashamed of something
for which they have no blame.
I am a survivor of
the author wishes to remain
Image by John William Waterhouse, 1903.
"my energies are being directed
into recovery, not regret ."
use that ‘transformational language’ deliberately… it would
be so much easier to say I am a ‘victim’, but my energies are
being directed into recovery, not regret. It has been hard
beyond words: frightening, destructive, damaging and
absolutely confusing, and if you’ve been in a relationship with
someone simila, you’ll know what I mean.
Looking back I can’t understand how I got into the relationship but that’s the point.
The warning signs were all there; we were completely incompatible and many
friends alerted me to this. However, one of the first strategies is to ‘lovebomb’, and
lovebomb me he did. I was overwhelmed by such tender, loving, generous displays
of emotion: it was impossible not to become deeply attracted to him, and in time,
dependent on him as the centre of my world. This was exactly what he wanted.
Soon, it was too late. It’s always hard to identify a tipping point; the moment it all
goes wrong; but within a year, the relationship was in tatters and I was in emotional
shreds. This is the typical narcissistic cycle: after ‘lovebombing’ comes ‘devaluing’,
when the narcissist’s attentions turns from building himself (or herself) up in your
eyes, to devaluing you in your own eyes.
I decided to leave at this stage – you'd think the problem would end there, but no, it
did not. One of the confusing things has been just how challenging the aftermath
has been. In my case, it’s been at least as difficult to deal with the fallout from
leaving as it was living with him, though the challenges are different. My self-esteem
started to crumble, my self-worth to fall.
The next phase is to ‘discard’. Yes, it was me who moved out but he wasn’t prepared
to accept that: trying, on multiple occasions,in multiple ways, to draw me back in
(the so called ‘hoovering’ phase). He had a touch of ‘alpha’ about him - an outward
sense of confidence and allure which is not uncommon –very adept at targeting the
next unsuspecting, sensitive & empathic person to sell them this picture perfect ‘too
good to be true’ romance. Infidelity is not uncommon as they prepare a replacement
for the void they are about to create so they can move on seamlessly.
Whilst busy trying to reel me back in, he had been busy building up his new source
of narcissistic supply and then, out of the blue - overnight, by text - he announced
he had a new girlfriend.
This flawed thinking is both extremely
damaging and extremely difficult to
overcome, until you see it for what it
really is. And it’s intentional: he
skillfully deploys tactics to get you to
think like this for many months. In my
case, until I realised the implications
of and the way it actually works, I was
still ‘under his spell’, subject to
emotional ups and downs; hopes
raised and hopes dashed about our
relationship, and total confusion about
what was going on, who I am now and
what I actually want.
Needless to say the games and tactics
did not grind to a halt there and there
is an emotional undercurrent to our
If you haven’t been in a relationship
with a narcissist, you might see this
two-timing at face value and think that
it will make it easier to overcome the
‘loss’ of a former lover – ‘he’s been
unfaithful; I deserve better…’
But the combination of being
lovebombed then discarded carries a
heavy toll: you still idealise (if not
idolise) him AND you blame yourself...
If only I could change, we could go
back to those early days when all was
Despite recognizing that my lover was
a narcissist fairly early on in our
relationship, it is only now – several
months ‘post-discard’ – that I
understand the enormous
If you’re divorced or separated, it’s not
uncommon to hear allegations of
narcissism being bandied about. which
is why I think it is important to learn
as much as possible ESPECIALLY in
litigating against a narcissist, because
for them, a courtroom is a theatre or
playground, and an opportunity to lure
people into their web.
Educating myself has been a hugely
important step in recovering from this
relationship and the wide emotional
debris field it created.
I am sceptical about ‘Dr Google’, but I
have found the internet to be an
excellent source of information.
Ironically some of the most useful
websites are those written by
narcissists themselves, where they
explain their motives, reasoning and
Narcissus by Caravaggio
Using this as a template for my own
relationship, I was able to regain some
objectivity, which has been crucial for
I no longer feel surprised by the
inconsistencies of the relationship; I
don’t misinterpret his actions as
‘wanting me back’;
I understand why other people just
don’t get it – how much easier it is for
them to think that I’m the crazy one
and he’s the hero, because that’s how
he’s engineered the situation.
The cycle will continue, and his current
‘supply’, the recipient of all his
lovebombing will, in time, be the next
I hope for her sake that she also goes
on to be a survivor.
And life now? I have had to be brave
and proactive. I have made huge
strides recently, but life for a single
parent starting again is a challenge.
“for them a courtroom is a theatre or playground, and
an opportunity to lure people into their web. ”
This hurts: don’t underestimate it. I
miss him. I miss us.
I would like to believe that I can be the
one to change him. I still feel the same
self-doubt and, sometimes, selfloathing:
it’s really hard to cast off the
thoughts that he planted in my mind;
that if I had just loved him that little
bit more, then everything would be
But narcissists don’t work like that.
They don’t change.
At times I am lonely; often I sit quietly
and lick my wounds. This feels pathetic
and I am embarrassed to admit it, but
it’s necessary to restore my mental
energy, so that I can get out there and
meet new people, try new things, deal
with the next setback or setup.
I am hopeful that in time I will have a
more normal relationship. He has no
place in my life, but I still love him.
The only way to love him a little bit
less has been to learn a little bit more
about narcissism; to stop waiting to
see how he wants to play and instead
take my own life in my own hands and
get on with living it.
Beware The Unscrupulous SCAs
The internet is a wonderful thing.
Access to information, access to
services all at the swipe of a touch
screen or the click of a mouse.
But, with such readily available
information to hand comes a harsh
reality that not all of it is good.
This, in particular, affects those who
are vulnerable, who are isolated, who
are afraid and where there is
vulnerability, there are predators.
Say hello to the SCA
SCAs give the impression they are a
thriving and reputable business, They
may readily claim affiliations,
membership, fellowships or
The same with endorsements,
testimonials and quotes.
There are also red flags to look out for
if you are unsure of whether someone
is a SCA or not.
11. They ring constantly because they
are *worried* about you
12. They go *off grid* to make you
13. They let you know who is safe to
talk to and who isn't.
14. They hold onto your vital
documents for *safeguarding*
15. They ask to see/ check your mail,
your phone messages etc on the
pretext to keep you safe.
16. They insist you stay in their
comfort zone, not yours.
1. They seek you out.
2. They refuse to take No for an
3. They insist on helping despite
4. They insist they know your
situation better than you
5.They like to create fear.
6. They see fault in other services
and insist that they know better.
7.They are vague on specifics
8. They ask for a lot of
information without giving a
reason for needing it.
17. They give advice on the pretext of
keepinh you safe but these are really
18. They like calling a *red alert*
19.They like to alienate you from other
services by creating an atmosphere of
distrust, of failings, maybe even
corruption but certainly
20 They say things like " Don't go to a
refuge, they can't keep you safe".
This is a time to speak UP and
speak OUT when victims are put
at risk, we can not sit by and
watch while others
9. They tell you they will take
care of everything.
10. They monitor you
DETAILS COMING SOON
have your say.
November's Edition of CCChat will include feed back
on the following 2 topics.. Please join in.
Elder Abuse and Dementia
Does anyone have any experience of
identifying coercive control in an
elderly person with dementia?
I am looking to include this as one
of the subjects at Conference on
Coercive Control in Gloucester next
If you have had experience or can
point me in the right direction, that
would be great. Thank you!!
Sexual Relationships with
Service Users. Should this be
acceoptable or not?
Recently I was sent a workers
conduct policy for a charity
which stated: Sexual relationships
are acceptable with service users
initially met during work time.
What are your thoughts on staff
entering relationships with service