Making the Invisible Visible

CCChat Magazine

Better Understanding

Around Coercive


October 2017

Domestic Violence

Awareness Month

Sam Billingham & Jen Gilmour

Meet the women whose own experiences

inspired them to support others.

Dr Jane Monckton Smith

DART Revisited

Introducing The Homicide Timeline

Dr Craig Malkin -

Interview with the narcissist expert .

The Lived Experience - Learning from survivors who

have lived through it

Making The

Invisible Visible


Editor's Notes

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


Sam Billingham

22 The founder of SODA goes from

strength to strength

Jennifer Gilmour

24 A woman on a mission

Charity Insider

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


Discussion Point

14 Topics for discussion.



Editor's Notes

About The


Min Grob started

'Conference on Coercive

Control in June 2015,

following a relationship

that was coercive and


Since then, there have

been three national

conferences, various

speaking engagements

and a newsletter which

has developed into a

magazine. 2018 will see

the start of CCChat

Discussion Groups as

well 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

between strident

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:


Start the


Welcome to the 2nd edition of

CCChat Magazine.

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

your thoughts.

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

The Editor


Domestic Violence

Reference Tool


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

DART Revisited

Homicide Timeline



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

peer review.

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

June!! ”

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:




Apple store:


Dr Jane Monckton Smith

You can check out the blog




(£1at a time)

Building an Empire

Defending Accusations of

Empire Building


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.

Empire Building

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,

the fear.

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

couples, individuals,

and families.

His research on the role

of relationships in

psychological growth

has been published in

peer-reviewed journals,


has called his blog

Romance Redux “an

essential read.”

He is a frequent

contributor to

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

School’s training


More info:




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

planet—maybe ever.”

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

saying yes.

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

too narcissistic?

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

and deserve.

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".


Jennifer Gilmour

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,

Jen Gilmour

Jennifer will be linking in with

readers of CCChat on various

topics centred around coercive


For more info visit

Jennifer Gilmour

Charity Insider

Interview with the CEO of

SATEDA Liza Thompson



Thompson is CEO of SATEDA

-Swale Action To End Domestic Abuse-

( 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

of work?

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

effect change.

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

charitable funding….

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

restaurant .

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

kids schools)

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

government funding.

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)

choose sides.

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

of women.

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

Hollywood stars.

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

narcissistic abuse

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

my recovery.

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

(so-called advocates)

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.

Red Flags

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


Conference on

Coercive Control

University of




Discussion Point

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


Discussion Point

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