CCChat Magazine

Better Understanding

Around Coercive Control

November 2017

The East Anglia Edition


Revolutionary Safeguarding

From A Husband and Wife Team




Frontline Training To Break The Myths

For: Police-GP's-Nurses,-Midwives,-Teachers,-Safeguarding

Leads, Social-Workers.-Lawyers-Counsellors, Paramedics

Looking at various responses to Coercive

Control in Suffolk,Cambridgeshire, Norfolk


Editor's Notes

5 It's been an intersting month.

Find out why.

Operation Encompass

6 A husband and wife team get

serious about safeguarding.

Lisa Aronson-Fontes, PhD

9 Lisa explains how abusers

brainwash using 'Perspecticide'.

When Courts Get It Wrong

14 Sophia Cooke on why she wrote her



18 Nancy's story

Jessica Eaton

22 Jessica on why showing CSE films to

children is unethical

Emma Bond

31 Associate Professor of UCS

and Director of iSEED

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible


Hollie GazzardTrust

33 Nick Gazzard trains employers on

abuse and on their obligations.

Graham Goulden

39 Interview with Director of

Cultivating Minds UK

40th Norwich Beer Festival

46 The festival charity of the year

is Leeway. Wey Hey!!

Charity Focus

47 We interview Mandy Procter,

CEO of Leeway.

Elder Abuse

51 Rachel's story about elder abuse

and dementia.

When Courts Get It Wrong

54 Kelly's Story


56 Trolling with an agenda.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible



56 Some screenshots of the

interactions in mobbing.

Gwen Owen

68 We find out more about the civil

and commercial mediator.

CCChat Discussion Group

70 Coming to East Anglia in 2018

Abuse Talk

71 Jennifer Gilmour gives us an

update on the recent chat.

Online Book Club

72 A book club with a difference

Gallery Highwaymans

73 A look at a Suffolk getaway and

conference centre.

Elizabeth Hodder

75 When there is no legal aid, look for

no-nonsense straight talking

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

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 speaker

engagements and a

newsletter which has now

developed into an online


2018 will see the start of

CCChat Discussion Groups

starting in East Anglia

before rolling out

nationwide with the next

Conference on Coercive

Control planned for the 1st

week in June at the

University of


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 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 get in touch:


Let's Start The


Welcome to the 3rd (and biggest!) edition of

CCChat Magazine

(all almost 80 pages of it)

Its been a busy month. Not least because the numbers of people getting in

touch are rapidly rising and time seems to be passing by faster. I daren't

blink in case I miss 6 months!

The biggest topic of interest for readers seems to be the subject of so-called

advocates ( SCAs) . I have had numerous disclosures ranging from bad

practice and non-victim-centric thinking, to reports of harassment and

intimidation and subverting information.

Many of you will have noticed the late publication of CCChat. This was due

to the need to seek legal clarification and advice from the ICO - The

Information Commissioner's Office- on a vexatious complaint. This is explored

more fully in the article on 'Mobbing'.

I was pleased to be able to volunteer for Leeway at CAMRA's 40th Norwich

Beer Festival. Leeway was appointed the Beer Festival's charity of the year

money raised during the 6 day event was a whopping £7,070. Amongst

other events I have attended, there was a presentation by DAHA to

Cambridgeshire Domestic Violence Forum, and a discussion group on parental

alienation at Westminster by the Family Law Panel.

Whilst in Cambridge I met with PhD researcher Sophia Cooke who had

recently left an abusive relationship to find the courts could not identify the


Next month, is the Christmas edition where incidents of abuse will rise as a

result of family tension and alcohol, among other factors. CChat will be

looking at housing with an interview with Shelter CEO Polly Neate as well

as looking at the easy way accusations of stalking, harasment and coercive

control are made. We will be interviwing and talking about the research Dr

Emma Bond. as well as delving into topics that are invisible in plain sight.

Christmas may still be some time away but CCChat is more than just tinsel!!

See you next month.


CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible




Operation Encompass is an

initiative created by husband

and wife team, headteacher

Elisabeth Carney-Haworth and

retired police sargeant , David

Carney-Haworth .

Operation Encompass was

launched in Plymouth in 2011

to address and identify

shortcoming in how

information was being shared

with schools regarding

children living with domestic


The concept of Operation

Encompass was both simple

yet revolutionary: If a domestic

incident occurred on the

previous evening with a child

was in the house, the police

would contact the nominated

Key Adult at the child's school

prior to the start of the school


Appropriate support would be

in place for that child. This

support could be overt or

silent dependent upon the


It was such a simple concept

but it had a huge impact.

Having the knowledge that a

child had experienced

domestic abuse, allows the

school to put support for the

child in place.

The Operation Encompass

website contains support

materials and anecdotal

evidence of the success of

Operation Encompass.



Encompass is a Police and

Education early intervention safeguarding

partnership that ensures that when the

police have attended at a home where a

child or young person is exposed to

domestic abuse.

A nominated Key Adult will be notified of an incident prior to

the start of the next school day.

So far Operation Encompass has been embraced in 21 police

forces with the force wide rollout in Devon and Cornwall in

December 2017.

In May 2016, Dame Vera Baird QC, Northumbria Police Crime

Commissioner reported on live television that her force had

supported over 1500 children in a 6-month period.

In Norfolk, police implemented Operation Encompass in

January 2017 as a direct result of the recommendations of a

Serious Case Review.

Domestic abuse is identified as an ACE ( Adverse Childhood

Experience) and for children an 86% predictor of having four or

more ACE’s.

Research shows that the more ACEs you have the greater the

negative impact upon physical, emotional and mental health

and the more likely to take part in risk taking behaviours which

people into contact with the police.

With 4+ ACEs you are:

2x more likely to binge drink

5x more likely to have had sex whilst under 16

5x use of illicit drugs

7 x more likely to have been involved in violence in last year

7x addicted to alcohol

11x more likely to have used crack/ heroin or been incarcerated

12x more likely to have attempted suicide

“ It’s so important that we give vulnerable young

people across South Tyneside a voice and Operation

Encompass is about doing just that, offering early

intervention and support when children need it most.”

Dame Vera Baird

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

In the HMIC report ‘Increasingly

everyone’s business, a progress report on

Domestic Violence’: ‘It was described by

partners in education as the best thing

the police have given to education’

In September 2017 the South West

Director for HMI Ofsted, Bradley

Simmons, said on a live BBC programme;

“One of the things that we found is there

isn’t really a focus on the needs of

children who do witness such violence

and they can arrive at school traumatised.

They often present as quite difficult

young people because of what's going on

at home but actually Operation

Encompass is doing exactly the right

thing. There’s joint agency working so the

school knows at once when a child has

witnessed domestic abuse and is able to

make provisions.’

Photo: Elizabeth Carney-Haworth

A review of Operation Encompass in

Knowsley found that ‘Overwhelmingly,

the majority of both the incidents and

the children and young people

involved were defined as Bronze or

Silver cases.

This is an interesting point given that

prior to the implementation of

Operation Encompass, schools would

not have been made aware of these

cases at all. Gold cases would have

been reported to schools as part of the

MARAC arrangements.’

In December 2016 the College of

Policing wrote: ‘The college is acutely

aware of Operation Encompass and

has circulated details widely as good

practice as part of our response to the

recommendations in HMIC reviews

into force responses to Domestic


A case before Operation Encompass

A Year Six child was predicted to achieve

Level 4 in her Standard Assessment Tests

(SATs) the average attainment for an 11yr


The child only achieved Level 2 and 3

(Level 2 equates to the attainment of an

average 7yrs old and Level 3 equates to

the attainment of an average 9yrs old).

The school could see no reason why the

child had performed so badly. In July of

that year, some two months later the

school received details that showed that

the weekend prior the SATs there had

been a domestic abuse incident in the

child’s household.

The school felt that this incident of

domestic abuse had had a detrimental

impact on the child’s emotional health

and wellbeing and her therefore upon her

ability to succeed in the SATs.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

A Case After Operation Encompass

In a case where Operation Encompass was

operating (Shown on live BBC television) a

mother suffering domestic abuse stated that

her 5 year old son had begun to imitate her

partner’s violent behaviour, the child began

spitting, swearing and hitting her.

Once the child’s school became aware of the

domestic abuse incidents through Operation

Encompass immediate support was given

and the child’s behaviour changed. This

change was credited directly to Operation

Encompass by the mother.

What do we want from the


That children and young people exposed to

Domestic Abuse are recognised as victims in

their own right.

That the principles of Operation Encompass

i.e. the timely sharing of information with

schools prior to the start of the next school

day when a child has been exposed to

Domestic Abuse, becomes a statutory

requirement for all police forces.

That all police forces have a statutory

requirement to record the numbers of

children exposed to Domestic Abuse.

That the police are given powers to protect

the victims of Domestic Abuse as Domestic

Abuse is currently not an offence in itself and

any officer’s powers are limited to trying to

find some other offence for example; assault,

criminal damage or public order.

That all schools undertake mandatory

training to develop knowledge and

understanding of the impact of Domestic

Abuse of children and young people and how

best to support these children.

Photo:Sergeant David Carney-Haworth

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Lisa Aronson-Fontes,PhD

is a psychology researcher at the

University of Massachusetts

Amherst and author of "Invisible

Chains: Overcoming Coercive

Control in Your Intimate


CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible


“Manipulative people brainwash their partners using

something called 'perspecticide' : Lisa Aronson-Fontes PhD

What is Perspecticide?

It occurs when an abusive

partner has made somone believe

things that aren't true.

Eventually, they no longer know

what is real.

Living with an abusive and controlling

partner can feel like living in a

cult—except lonelier. Victims' own

viewpoints, desires, and opinions may

fade as they are overwhelmed by the


Over time, they may lose a sense that

they even have a right to their own

perspectives. This is called

perspecticide—the abuse-related

incapacity to know what you know

(Stark, 2007).

Perspecticide is often part of a strategy

of coercive control that may include

manipulation, stalking, and physical


Abusers make their partners

narrow their worlds. Once

isolated, it is easy to lose one's

sense of self.

Doug insisted that Val watch him play

video games rather than doing what

she wanted. He demanded that he be

the centre of her attention at all times.

Gradually she accepted this as an


Corey’s husband only “allowed” her to

socialize along with him, with other

couples. He did not permit her to leave

the house without him, even to shop

for food.

Whenever TeyShawn tried speaking on

the phone or seeing friends or family,

his boyfriend, Angelo, grew angry with


After a while TeyShawn severely

curtailed his social life; It just wasn’t

worth the hassle.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Abusers insist on controlling minute

aspects of their partners' lives.

Over time, victims internalize the rules and

forget what life was like when they were freer

to make their own choices.

Herman drew up an extensive chores chart

and insisted that Marta keep a detailed log of

her activities.

Ken gave his partner, Steve, a list of

expectations for his diet, workout routine,

and grooming, and implied that their

relationship would be over if he did not


Darnell expected Sara to dress modestly

when outside the home but insisted that she

dress sexily when they were alone together.

He told her to stop speaking to the cat,

reading magazines, or sleeping on her back.

He chose her makeup, dictated her bedtime,

and weighed her daily. He meticulously

controlled the way their house was

organized, down to how towels were folded

and food stored on the shelves. To avoid

explosive conflict, Sara followed Darnell's

demands and began to see them as "normal."

Abusers make their partners feel badly

about themselves.

Because they are isolated, people victimized

by perspecticide begin to believe the negative

descriptions of themselves and lose selfesteem.

Imani’s husband told her repeatedly

that she was a gloomy, depressed person by

nature. He told her that she was selfish to ask

for changes in their marriage since she would

never be happy anyway. Over time, she

stopped asking.

Lori’s boyfriend told her she was oversexed

and that he needed to keep an eye on her or

she’d be out of control. He had sex with her

at least once on most days, which was more

than she wanted, but he told her it was what

he needed to do to keep her “honest.” Over

time, she stopped protesting the way he

monitored and forced himself on her. She

accepted the idea that the sex was “for her

own good.”

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Abusive partners create the expectations. The

abuser demands certain acts as proof of love

and over time, the person being victimized

gives in.

Kelly’s husband insisted that they share a

toothbrush and that they use the same water

or wine glass at all meals.

He couldn’t seem to tolerate her having

anything that was hers alone. Kelly dreamed

of being able to close the door when she

showered but her husband wanted to be able

to see her at all times.

Clarice’s husband, Dre, did not have a job

for the first decade of their marriage.

Clarice worked long days and when she

returned home he berated her for

“choosing work over family.”

In front of the children, he defined her as

cold, unloving, and nonmaternal.

Lily pushed her boyfriend to share all his

social media and email passwords and when

he refused, she secretly installed a keystroke

logger so she could access them against his

will. When he found out and confronted her,

she replied, “Loving couples keep no secrets.”

He gave up on the idea of Internet privacy.

Karen told Carmen that she should never say

“no” to her; pleasing her should be her

Number One and only priority. Carmen tried

hard to follow this rule, and grew ashamed

when she had longings of her own.

"In an abusive or controlling relationship, over time the

dominating partner changes how the victim thinks,"

Lisa Aronson-Fontes, PhD

Clarice constantly felt obliged to prove

that she was a good mother.

The children joined their father in

blaming Clarice for “not being around

much,” as if she was making a deliberate

choice to be out of the home for long


In the evening, sometimes Dre would take

away Clarice’s phone, saying, “Now you’re

going to have to pay attention to us.”

People subjected to perspecticide often blame

themselves, as they feel despairing and


It can be hard for them to figure out exactly what’s

wrong. Controlling partners serve as a filter for

the outside world, gradually forcing their victims

to lose the support of family, friends, and


Isolated and controlled in this way, victims lose

self-esteem and have trouble remembering what

they once thought, felt, and believed.

For more on Lisa Aronson -Fontes, PhD,

visit her website at

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible




CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible


Sophia's story



referred to Sophia Cooke, by a professional in the domestic

abuse sector, a few weeks ago. I had been told that a young woman

had recently come out of a very emotionally abusive relationship

and he had sold his story to the papers. I was asked if I could


'it is beyond unspeakably evil,

what it actually is'.

I took some time getting to know Sophia, getting to hear her story. It was clearly apparent

that she had been through an extremely distressing time and I was sadly all too aware of

how her version of events would not come across as credible as his. He had made her

believe she was to blame. How can you explain something, when you are still trying to

make sense of it yourself? This is something I come across q frequently. A victim is

disorientated, confused, perplexed as they come to terms with the reality of their

relationship. Many do not see themselves as the victim, so conditioned are they to believe

they are the perpetrator and they have to relive the whole relationship , looking at it

through different eyes.When we met, I listened to an audio recording of the couple.Sophia

had recorded it, to evidence the abuse. It made my blood run cold, with the insidious way

he manipulated her , blaming all of his abuse on her.

I asked if I could use the recording as a training resource as I felt it was an extremely

powerful aid looking at the insidiousness of emotional and psychological abuse. But there

were silent gaps, bits of the conversation which I felt would detract from the learning

opportunity and mention of his name. I asked Sophia if she could edit the recording. What

then followed was a change of heart. Emboldened by my response and that of others in the

abuse sector, combined with a desire to create better awareness and help others to not end

up in the situation Sophia had recently been in, led to the recording being released on

Twitter. This was shortly accompanied the release of Sophia's blog - a cathartic outlet for

her -to give the recording context.

Unsurprisingly, he was quick to contact the papers who quoted him as saying: 'it is beyond

unspeakably evil, what it actually is' Sophia was understandably nervous of the reaction to

her blog, so, over the weekend, I interviewed her about why she had felt compelled to

release it.

The interview follows this article but, before you read it, it makes sense to listen to the

recording first, which is Post 7 on the blog.

Sophia's blog can be found at:

Please cut and paste the link into your browser.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

The Interview

Sophia Cooke


CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

What made you write the blog?

I began writing about the relationship on the

advice of a counsellor I started seeing after

my former partner was arrested. Up until

this point I had been struggling to

understand everything that had happened

and blaming myself for things going wrong.

However, as I wrote, things began to make

more sense. I began to see the patterns in

both his and my behaviour and come to

terms with the idea that I had not been to

blame for his violence.

The more I wrote, the more I understood. As

a result, I started to feel my sense of who I

was return, the cloud of confusion lift, and

little by little I was able to recognise that I

had not deserved any of it. I then launched

my blog.

I wanted to put the topic of domestic abuse

more prominently on the map and to educate

people on how it developed and what the

warning signs were.

If I had been able to recognise what my

former partner was doing early on, perhaps

none of this would have happened to me.

After the trial and subsequent media

coverage, I felt an even greater need to speak

out. After taking some time to build my

strength back up again, I finalised the writing

I had already done and launched my blog.

I decided to release the voice recording along

with it because it so clearly demonstrates the

emotional abuse I am trying to raise

awareness of. I also played it to a few people

in the domestic abuse sector who thought it

would be an important educational tool.

“The more I wrote, the more I understood.”

I decided to release the voice recording along

with it because it so clearly demonstrates the

emotional abuse I am trying to raise

awareness of. I also played it to a few people

in the domestic abuse sector who thought it

would be an important educational tool.

Why did you decide to release the blog

and the voice recording?

As what had happened to me became more

widely known, a large number of people

started to confide in me that they had also

gone through abusive relationships. I

discovered it to be far more common than I

had thought, yet it seemed to be hardly

talked about in the public sphere.

It really struck me how limited the

understanding of domestic abuse of most

people who had not been through it was. I

therefore decided that I wanted to speak out

about my experiences once the court case

was over.

What has the reaction been to the

blog and the recording?

The reaction has been overwhelmingly

positive. I have had a huge number of

messages from others who have suffered

domestic abuse to say that reading my

blog has really helped them. They have

said it has enabled them to understand

better what they went through and to let

go of any feelings of self-blame.

A few have even told me that reading the

blog has given them the strength to cut

their abusive ex-partners completely from

their lives which is fantastic.

In addition I have had enormous support

from many who have not suffered abuse,

but feel they now understand much more

about it.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Responses to the recording have been

mainly of shock and several people have

said it reduced them to tears.

A number of domestic abuse experts have

said that the emotional manipulation

shown by my former partner, is

absolutely textbook and, sadly, a large

number of other victims have commented

on how much it reminds them of the way

they have been treated previously.

I do feel embarrassed knowing that so

many people are listening to it as I was

clearly at my lowest ebb at the time, but I

am very glad it is helping to educate


And what next?

Having finally been able to speak about

what I have been going through in the last

two years,

I feel better able to move forward with my

life and my PhD.

I am still working to get the PTSD

symptoms under control but I am doing

much better than I was.

I am in a happy, healthy relationship now

which has been further helping me to

rebuild my confidence.

I still feel strongly about continuing to

raise awareness of domestic abuse and I

have already been asked to give speak at

several events.

Sophia's blog can be found at:

Please cut and paste the link into

your browser. ks at different


CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

I am a Survivor

I am also High Funtioning

Nancy's story



challenging being a highly functioning survivor. Over decades

we’ve had to self learn our own coping strategies in order to

function in public, within family dynamics, with our children and

most importantly the workplace, for fear of arousing judgement

and discrimination.

“ DVA survivor professionals have also honed their own individual

detachment techniques, specifically in learning not to be triggered

and most importantly in not trigger others”

Highly functioning survivors and DVA survivor professionals have also honed their own individual

detachment techniques, specifically in learning not to be triggered and most importantly in not

trigger others

The skills in maintaining a mask in order to function highly, is paramount to a professional

survivor’s job or career, because sometimes it’s the job or career that’s needed in order to thrive.

Some of us manage to balance the status of single working mother/survivor successfully, until our

children leave home.

Some of us who have experienced childhood and repeat domestic sexual violence and abuse may

struggle with a myriad of mental health issues, tried and tested and failed coping mechanisms and

the ramifications of having to fight a misdiagnosis, whilst repeatedly disclosing their issues together

with their experiences to too many agencies, and not always with positive outcomes.

Some survivors also struggle with the lack of post DSVA specialist family support and individualised

therapeutic services, due to lack of Government cuts and sustainable funding. So, life after domestic

abuse should be good for at least the highly functioning survivor, yes?

Well no. You see, as a survivor who has had a career in domestic abuse from bottom to top approach,

I had taken time out of work after repeat domestic abuse, sexual violence, stalking and harassment

experiences. After the first occasion, I needed to take two years out of my life and my career to heal.

t was at this point - some decades earlier - that I became acutely aware of the discrimination

experienced by survivors of VAW, with the media taking the helm in victim blaming and the

normalisation of abuse of women at home, socially or in the workplace. Now, over two decades later,

I’m seeing a return to work after nine years.

Being in this situation for any survivor of low-to-no financial means, - after moving from Refuge to

several self-funded moves and a change in vehicle, etc - means an existence on welfare and the

growing realisation of the fact that as a survivor, like those before me, we are faced with necessary

and constant battles with Statutory, Health and Welfare Services and as post DSVA survivors, we

face these systems alone.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Over the decades, the economic loss to

myself, whilst raising my family has been

crippling. Yet my ex husband, the father of

my child contributed just fifteen pounds in

eighteen years of his son’s life, due to failures

in the Child Support Agency in the handling

of my case. Essentially, this is the reality and

cost of decades of repeat Police failures in

bringing the perpetrators to justice.

However, having adopted a mask of

resilience, I knew that when I was ready I

would offer my expertise, once again, in a

voluntary capacity. After all, I had financially

just about kept up-to speed by self funding

my Continued Professional Development,

attending poignant seminars, conferences

and launches.

I was focused on obtaining a masters in the

dynamics of domestic violence and abuse.

During my time out I had maintained a

hands-on approach by actively engaging in

awareness raising on Domestic Abuse and

Stalking on Social Media, providing

signposting for victims and survivors, and

updating professionals and activists on key

training needs and national campaigns from

key national players.

I also offer pro bono case work in the

community for senior vulnerable adults,

some with learning difficulties and

disabilities, which have all led to positive

outcomes for a variety of welfare, housing

and health issues.

I felt that my previous experiences in the

domestic abuse sector would be of credit,

especially since the countywide project I had

set-up had gained Statutory, Home Office

and European funding.

“I felt that my previous experiences in the domestic abuse

sector would be of credit,

It was at this point - some decades earlier - that I

became acutely aware of the discrimination

experienced by survivors of VAW, with the media

taking the helm in victim blaming and the

normalisation of abuse of women at home,

socially or in the workplace.

Now, over two decades later, I’m seeing a return

to work after nine years. Being in this situation for

any survivor of low-to-no financial means, - after

moving from Refuge to several self-funded moves

and a change in vehicle, etc - means an existence

on welfare and the growing realisation of the fact

that as a survivor, like those before me, we are

faced with necessary and constant battles with

Statutory, Health and Welfare Services and as

post DSVA survivors, we face these systems alone.

This meant going without luxuries such as winter

heating and the pre requisite three meals a day.

But such was my determination and passion in

regaining my career within the DV Sector, I felt it

was a small sacrifice to make. However, due to the

bedroom tax, after two years, I could no longer

afford to continue.

Further, that the success of my work was

undertaken with the mental health issues that I

currently have.

Ironically, in a work environment, it is my mental

health that I have to attribute to my drive and

resilience and the success of that project. I needed

to get back to work in the DSVA Sector - it literally

compounds issues for me in not doing so. So when

the time came I felt quietly confident, but

apprehensive. I applied for a voluntary frontline

worker position for a sexual assault centre. I was

advised to dumb down the application and apply.

I was delighted to receive by return an

opportunity to attend an open day event, so that

the organisation could discuss their role and that

of the position, enabling candidates to make an

informed decision as to whether the job was

suitable for them.

Delighted by the service and the job spec, I

returned their application form and received an

interview immediately. To my surprise the

interviewed was conducted solely by the Volunteer


CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

In disbelief and feeling insult to injury,

I pulled random skills out of my bag

and asked if I could be taken on as a

volunteer to undertake administration

or to assist with office admin, bid

writing and fund raising.

The response came back the same. I

asked if she would like to see my CV,

but curtly she stated ‘it would

discriminate against the other


But, I felt that I was the one who was

just discriminated against and judged

without any meaningful discussion on

the ‘spectrum’ of my issue.

I found the VC to be professionally

detached in her approach and remarkably

the questions too limiting given the

responsibility of the role. I felt I had

answered the questions well, without over

emphasising my personal or professional


I felt happier than I had felt in decades,

until she said, ‘I understand from one of

your tweets on Social Media, that you

suffer from ‘Post Traumatic Stress


I knew that this was not true and that she

had googled my name and had come

across two articles dating back to 2014, in

which I appeared discussing domestic

abuse and the various Government cuts

having a direct impact on survivors lives

and that of their children, their health

and wellbeing.

She then told me that I wouldn’t be able

to work for the organisation for at least a

year. I asked her if we could discuss my

mental health as she had raised the issue,

but I was met by her reiterating and

hiding behind a rigid and inflexible

organisational policy.

I felt that she was not in a position to

have made that decision alone,

especially since she had not displayed

an understanding of mental health let

alone PTSD and therefore I felt she

alone was not qualified to have made

that decision.

If she had asked, I would have

explained that PTSD like any other

MH issues is on a spectrum, and that I

have situational PTSD, which is exactly

that - situational - and as I had already

moved for the second time, my MH

should not be an issue.

I would have told her that ‘yes, I’m a

highly functioning survivor and DV

professional. I do not trigger, I do not

trigger others and therefore, my being

in post is not a safeguarding issue.

I screamed inwardly and silently to

myself ‘do you really think my

professional integrity - the only thing I

have left - would allow me to apply for

a position, that I knowingly was not

ready for, to put others lives in danger?

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Utterly floored, I fell silent. I thanked her

for her time and left.

This is my reality and I’m sure it’s a

similar situation for most survivors

returning to the workplace after long

term unemployment, and worse still for

vulnerable women leaving prison system.

It’s a constant struggle maintaining

resilience against constant

discrimination, victim blaming,

revictimising and re traumatising attitude

When it’s the very professionals and

organisations that are there to empower

women that we repeatedly experience this


If the Government doesn’t address the

need for sustainable funding for

specialist victim and survivor Mental

Health services training, the cycle of

victim blaming, re victimising and re

traumatising will continue,

compounding the survivors ability to

emotionally, physically, and financially


Government cuts to VAW Services is

clearly unsound economic practice, for

survivors and the UK economy.

“ I’m a highly functioning survivor and DV professional. I

do not trigger, I do not trigger others and therefore, my

being in post is not a safeguarding issue.”

Without sustainable funding how can

we dispel the systemic fear around

mental health?

How can we address the training needs

of all Domestic Sexual Violence and

Abuse workers on the spectrums of

Mental Health and trauma to an

accredited level?

How can we address the training needs

of Health and Welfare professionals in

the dynamics of domestic violence and

abuse, the impact and trauma to an

accredited level?

Discrimination against mental health is

covered in the disabilities act, yet as

recenty as this September, research in

Independent, highlighted that disabled

people have to apply for 60% more jobs

than non-disabled people before finding


There is a serious need for the UK to

adopt the Council of Europe’s Disability

Strategy on Human Rights which

addresses discrimination.

A reality for all, which aims to achieve

equality, dignity and equal opportunities

for people with mental health, disabilities

and difficulties.



CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible



CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Jessica Eaton





interviewing Jessica Eaton, a doctoral researcher,

writer and national speaker on sexual violence and victim

blaming who has been campaigning against the use of

CSE films for children. Jessica is also the founder of the

Eaton Foundation, a registered charity specialising in

holistic, longitudinal support for men.

Many of us aren't familiar with the resources being used to address

Child Sexual Exploitation. You have been very vocal on the harms some

of these can cause. Could you explain some more?

From what I understand, employees of MESMAC are not huge fans of my blog and

my opinions about the way the field of CSE has employed techniques and

approaches with no evidence base and this was used as an excuse for cyberstalking

for a period of over 8 weeks.

I don’t know any of them and they don’t know me. I do not follow the work of

MESMAC, Blast or Basis but it became apparent that one employee of MESMAC

was using four accounts to stalk me, watch my posts and to comment on things I did

and said in real-time. Generally, the posts were trying to discredit my work and my

writing – especially where I was arguing against the use of CSE resources with

children who have been abused and exploited.

My core argument had nothing to do with those organisations – I was arguing that

films containing sexual violence against children, drugs, abuse and grooming should

not be shown to victims of abuse because they will retraumatise them. Pretty basic

really.The blogs were read thousands of times and I received hundreds of emails

and phone calls from professionals who felt the same way. However, the employee

of MESMAC had already at this point used lines from my blog and my own social

media to attempt to discredit me and argue that I didn’t know what I was talking


The issue here is that everyone is free to disagree with me and to provide evidence

to the contrary but no one should use that disagreement to target a professional

online. After three weeks of the behaviour, I blocked him on all four accounts over

two platforms – two of those accounts were owned and should have been managed

properly by MESMAC but they failed to do so, leaving him able to use them to stalk

me and put up passive aggressive comments about my work for 8 weeks before

anyone noticed. Two of the accounts were his professional accounts. Two were on

Facebook and two were on Twitter.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

He simultaneously used all of them to

post about my work and my thoughts –

and to watch everything I was saying

in real time.

After 8 weeks, I submitted a cease and

desist letter which was responded to

with arrogance and a complete denial

of any wrong doing. The reply even

argued that they would not be looking

into it because I had no evidence.

However, I had 22 pages of evidence

and had logged over 280 posts in 8

weeks from the four accounts so I

decided to log a formal complaint

against the employee.

I submitted the 22 pages of evidence

and eventually got a phone call from

the person ‘investigating’ the employee

to say that the employee had admitted

watching me and posting about me,

that he was angry about what was

being talked about (CSE films being


He also told his employer that other

employees and professionals were

involve and he didn’t act alone.

Once I had blocked his accounts, he

enlisted others to help him. He also

told his employer that he used my

twitter feed on my website to watch me

after he realised he was blocked.

“I had 22 pages of evidence and had logged

over 280 posts in 8 weeks.”

The complaint was eventually accepted

but only after a number of difficult

conversations with MESMAC staff.

The CEO refusing to investigate

himself because he was compromised

in the first email which said I had no

evidence and copied him in.

I was repeatedly told that I couldn’t

prove the employee was watching me,

even before they had seen the


During this process, I was sent the

workers conduct policy which

contained the clauses allowing sex,

personal relationships and exchange of

personal details with clients.

I sent it to a group of experts in the

field and asked for their advice.

I sent it to the LSCB and reported the

policy as unethical – especially in the

light of their behaviour I was

experiencing from the employees.

It was clear to me that the organisation

were preparing to protect the

employee right from the beginning.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Why do you think they have reacted

in the way they have?

Well they were already not a big fan of me

so this won’t have helped much. However,

I have been surprised by the shifting of

blame to the whistleblower.

It strikes me as quite telling that a charity

that has not only got a policy of having

sex with clients, but also with a culture

that allowed employees to monitor and

berate an academic online would also

then berate someone who whistle blew on

the organisation and instead makes

comments that this is malicious or mud


Why should I keep quiet about this?

What damages our sector is dangerous

and unethical policies like this – not

the people who speak out.

This field is so contradictory.

It wants people to speak up and speak

out about bad practice and cover ups

but when they do they are vilified.

And then people sit back and ask why

professionals don’t report bad


I didn’t write the policy.

“ What damages our sector is dangerous and unethical

policies like this – not the people who speak out. ”

Safeguarding is apparently at the heart of

what they do in their jobs, except for

when one of their own is on the wrong

side of it and then, of course, it is

someone else's fault.

I have noticed on Twitter that there

are some claiming that this

amounts to airing of dirty laundry

and damages the charity sector.

How would you respond to that?

This is really the most disappointing

response out of all of them. This is how

victims and whistleblowers in the field of

child abuse get silenced again and again.

Why should the professional reputation

of the charity come above the safety of the


It’s a good job I value the rights and

wellbeing of clients above my own

professional reputation otherwise this

never would have been discussed.

In your opinion, how should they

have reacted?

They should have agreed that the

policy is unethical.

There is no other opposing POV unless

they want to out themselves as

professionals who want sex with

clients .

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

'You showed me a CSE film

when I was 13 years old…

this is how it affected me’



name is Kate, and I recently turned 22 years old.

When I was 13 years old I was shown CSE videos like

the ones detailed in Jessica Eaton’s letter, and I

would like you to know how that did and still does

affect me.

Up until 12 years old I was a very happy child. Then one evening I was walking

home down a quiet side alley when some older boys I recognised stopped me and

offered me money in exchange for sex. They started grabbing at me, and I only

remember flashes of what happened next. After that I would often ‘zone out’ and

lose chunks of time, which is when my school began to notice something wasn’t


It took a lot for me to talk to them but ultimately, nothing happened. Shortly after, I

started getting harassed by other boys at my school. They would follow me, wait

outside my house, throw things at me and touch me in ways I knew they shouldn’t.

At first I reported them to my school, and in some cases they were dealt with, but

over time I stopped. One teacher had called me annoying, and another had asked

out right if I had been raped by ‘a man’, as I was over reacting for it to be anything

else. I felt like I had become ‘a problem’.

I always thought it was a coincidence that I was shown the CSE resources, but

having read about the same thing happening to so many other children I now think

perhaps it wasn’t. Can I tell you what it feels like to sit in a class full of children and

be shown videos depicting the most traumatic experience of your life? It feels like

your heart is going to thump out of your chest and that you will tremble until you

cease to exist.

It feels like the world could collapse in on you and that you could explode all at the

same time. You’re panicking, and you want to scream and cry but you can’t because

then everyone would know what you are. What happened to you. Afterwards you

made me stand up and read a poem to the class about how I could stop it happening

to me, when I knew it already had.

At 13 years old I stood up and recited from your videos how I could have stopped my

own assaults, if only I had thought. Or not walked alone. Or not been so god damn

inviting with my female body. I was so sure everyone in that room would see the

guilt written on my skin. I felt utterly humiliated.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Everyone in the class read their poems, and it

felt like a chorus amplifying my wrongness.

It was a competition. I didn’t win.

Your videos taught me that the thoughts

inside my head were true. That somehow I’d

invited it because of the way I looked or acted

or was.

That the people around me, my friends, my

family and my mum, would be disgusted by

and disappointed in me. That they’d whisper

and point and think about all the ways I

could have prevented it.

If only I had known. If only I had told

someone sooner. All I had to do was realise

what was happening and tell someone.

Sometimes I would lie powerless on my

bed, overwhelmed by the gnawing feeling

that I was worthless because I let it

happen to me.

Sometimes I still do.

Every time I wanted to tell someone

memories of those videos convinced me


It took me 9 years to tell someone after

you. Please stop showing children those


They hurt more than you can know, and

they stop us asking for the help that we so

desperately need.

“Your videos taught me that the thoughts inside my head were

true. That somehow I’d invited it because of the way I looked or

acted or was. ”

But you see I had realised, and I had told

someone. And those videos were what I got. I

went into that class feeling dirty and

ashamed and left convinced I was right to.

Those videos didn’t make me aware that

what happened to me was wrong. I already

knew that.

Those videos didn’t make the harassment

and assaults stop. If anything, they helped

them continue. So you see, there is no logic

in your CSE videos. And I guess I’ll never

know why you showed me those films.

Maybe you didn’t know what else to do.

Maybe you thought I would find a way to

make sure it didn’t happen again.

If you wanted to shut me up, it worked.

Instead of talking I scratched at my skin,

trying to stop the aching, bursting feeling

inside my chest.

It was your job to make it stop, that

responsibility never should have sat with

me. I needed you to tell me that it wasn’t

my fault, to give me the space to be angry

and in pain but still be safe and protected.

Please stop using those CSE videos.

You’re better than that.

I know you are.

Kate – 12/11/2017

Please share this letter, use it in

training, read it out at conferences,

read it to other professionals, use it

in university modules. We ARE

getting this wrong. We ARE doing

harm. We ARE using untested,

unethical resources with children.

We ARE teaching children to blame

themselves and change their

behaviours after abuse. This has to

end, NOW.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Tips on how to make an

ethical CSE resource

Jessica Eaton


I have had hundreds of emails from

people who are willing to work

together to support this campaign. The

emails come from regulatory bodies,

government, directors, researchers,

psychologists of all disciplines, trainee

psychologists, lawyers,

psychotherapists and even

professional parents.

One email caught my eye. A

professional contacted me to say that

their organisation makes CSE

resources and had read my letter and


She wrote to me for advice about what

they could do to make ethical and

effective CSE resources for children. I

wrote back – and thought that I should

probably share these tips with


As it stands, I do not currently support

the use of ANY CSE films in current

circulation. This is because not one single

organisation has put their film and

resource through empirical testing,

psychological oversight, ethical review –

and none can prove that their film works

as an intervention, prevention or support


In fact, when I have challenged those

organisations, I have been told I am being

‘too academic’ and ‘evidence is not

needed’ before using these films with

children. So, this email from the

professional who makes these films was a

brilliant step forward, and I am happy to

share my advice to her:

Do not show sexually violent, graphic or

violent materials to children – ever.

Do not ask children what they could

have done differently (where the answers

are a modification of the child’s behaviour

or actions that would have ‘led’ to not

being abused, which has no evidence base

and is a form of victim blaming)

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Do not show any CSE films to children

who have been abused or traumatised –

or are currently ‘at risk’ or being groomed

for CSE/A .

Any teaching or resources should be

focussed on the actions, decisions or

issues of the sex offender – not the child.

Teach children that people who harm

them do so because they want to, not

because there is anything wrong with


Steer clear of depicting ‘vulnerable’

children – many resources show a child

who is having some sort of ‘problem’

which makes them ‘vulnerable’ to a sex


Not only this, but we are teaching

children and professionals that the

‘harm’ of abuse comes at the ‘end’ of a

linear grooming process, instead of

teaching them that the entire process

is harmful and manipulative.

Don’t show just one type of sex

offender using one type of method –

think outside of the box. Maybe the

perp could be a woman who is

recruiting girls to a fake modelling


Maybe she’s super glam and is sexually

attracted to girls? Focus on her

behaviour and actions – her words and

her demeanour.

“Any teaching or resources should be focussed on the actions,

decisions or issues of the sex offender – not the child.”

There is no evidence at present that

vulnerabilities lead to being sexually

exploited – and vulnerabilities are not

a pre-requisite to being sexually


Also, steer clear of depicting

stereotypical rape victims (white,

female, teenage, socially confident,

parties, hotels, boyfriends, taxis etc) –

it does nothing for our cause and

alienates children who don’t see

themselves in the resource.

Don’t show a linear grooming process

where the perp is nice to them and

makes them think they are in a

relationship and then eventually

harms them – grooming rarely works

like that in real life and we are giving

children a romanticised version of


You don’t need to show harm to

children to get your point across.

Maybe the perp is an old disabled man

who tricks children into ‘helping’ him?

(I have based this idea on a real case

from Elliott, 1995).

Maybe the perp is a young, talented

sportsman who uses his fame or talent

to abuse girls around him?

Maybe the perp is a respected English

teacher who abuses boys in her

primary school class?

Try to show the diversity of abusers

and the techniques.

Some sex offenders are just violent and

threaten children.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Some offenders will be very careful and

charming and nice. Some mix it up. Some

have completely different approaches.

We are guilty of only ever showing one

type of sex offender in CSE films and

resources and it’s totally unrealistic.

Don’t show online abuse as some fat old

ugly bloke posing as a teenager online to

groom kids, the research does not support

this at all – and it is causing a narrative in

professionals all over the UK who think

that online abuse is a sex offender who

poses as children and then ‘tricks’ them

into meeting them.

There is way too much ‘consultancy’ going

on around these CSE films and resources

where professionals are telling the

developers that the resource is unethical

or incorrect and then the organisation

ploughs ahead and releases it anyway.

I know of at least two resources in the

public domain that were opposed by

experts but were released anyway by the


What is the point of holding consultations

if you ignore the experts you invited?

Accept that you might not get the answer

you hoped for.

“Don’t show online abuse as some fat old ugly bloke posing

as a teenager online to groom kids, the research does

not support this at all.”

Avoid a misleading title full of buzzwords

and sensation. Personally, I think that

‘Kayleigh’s Love Story’ is an insult to her

and should have been boycotted the

second it crept out of someone’s mouth.

It’s not catchy or clever to call a video

about a sexual homicide of a child a ‘love


Do not sell, roll out or deliver a resource

or film that has not been tested

empirically and independently.

In fact, only make a resource or film if

you have sought an expert panel which

includes child, clinical or forensic

psychologists at a bare minimum.

Go to your local universities and ask for a

reviewing panel. Ask for ethical review.

Go and get experts to be your critical

friends and listen to them.

What is the effect of your resource? How

does it work? How do you know? Does it

work the same for all children? Does it

work better for some over others? Why?

Do children benefit from this? How? How

long for? How do you know? Is there any

difference between the children who have

never seen your film/resource and the

children you used it with? How do you

know? How will you test this?

Evaluation is vital. There are so many

CSE films and resources that make

massive claims to reduce abuse, increase

knowledge, protect children, enable them

to spot the signs of abuse, escape abuse,

realise what is happening to them – but

no evidence and no empirical testing.

This is an edited version.

The full blog can be found on:

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Dr Emma Bond

is a Professor in the Faculty of

Arts, Business

and Applied Social Science

at University of Suffolk

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Professor Emma Bond is a

Professor in the Faculty of Arts,

Business and Applied Social

Science at University of Suffolk

and has over 15 years teaching

experience on social science

undergraduate and post-graduate


Emma also has extensive research

experience and is a Senior Fellow

of the Higher Education Academy

and a visiting Senior Fellow at the

London School of Economics.

Emma is a member of the British

Sociological Association and the

Society for Research in Higher


Her research on virtual

environments, mobile

technologies and risk has

attracted much national and

international acclaim and she has

been interviewed for BBC

Breakfast; The Today Programme

on Radio 4; Woman's Hour on

Radio 4; Channel 4s Sex

education Show and for various

national media channels in the

UK, America and Canada.


CCChat will be interviewing

Professor Bond as well as hear

about her current research.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

In 2014, 20 year old Hollie Gazzard was viciously murdered by her

ex-boyfriend. Since then, her family have tirelessly raised

awareness of domestic violence whilst keeping the memory of their

beloved Hollie alive.

Following on from Hollie Guard, an app that turns a smartphone

into a personal safety device by shaking the phone or tapping the

screen to generate an alert. Nick Gazzard, Hollie's father aims to

educate employers on domestic abuse and their obligations to their


CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Graham Goulden Dad,

husband, 1986 World Pipe

Band Champion Drummer,

International Leadership and

Violence Prevention Trainer

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible


Graham Goulden



Graham, thank you so much for agreeing to this

interview. I am really pleased to be interviewing you

especially as I know you are currently away in the

States, working but before we get on to that, let’s start

off gently..

Are you a shower or a bath person?

Wow, what a start to an interview. What the hell in for a penny in for a pound.

A bath gets my vote all of the time. But then again, I’m getting bathrooms

upgraded soon with a new shower. Can I get back to you on that one?

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Early bird for me. Always keen to get the day started. Always something to

learn. Coffee makes everything better.

For the benefit of those who don’t know, what do you do?

I spent 30 years as a Scottish Police Officer, the last 8 years spent as a Chief

Inspector with the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) developing

leadership/bystander programmes in Schools, Universities, with dentists,

hairdressers, the fire service, sports and in the work place. This work focused

a lot on leadership to prevent incidences of bullying, domestic violence and

sexual violence.

Having now retired from the police I’ve set up my own training consultancy

‘Cultivating Minds UK’. I enjoy talking leadership when it comes to

prevention of bullying, domestic abuse and sexual violence. I’m lucky enough

to work from time to time in the United States. This has in past centred on

schools, university campuses and pro-sports. I worked last year with pro

baseball teams supporting prevention work around domestic and sexual

violence. I can always say that I worked with the Chicago Cubs during their

World Series winning season (Go Cubs). I see a real opportunity for sports in

the UK to be engaged in this work I’m also about to speak at an event on

‘heroism’ in Michigan. I know bystanders see friends being abused or being

abusive. We need to help them be the friends and hero’s I know they can be.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

What made you go into this line

of work?

I got into law enforcement as a 19 year

old. It’s something I had always

wanted to do. My last role within the

VRU really turned my world on its

head. I just started to see a world

where my two daughters faced real

issues and challenges. I met some

really interesting people including my

now friend Jackson Katz. Jackson

forced me to self-inspect my attitudes

and behaviours. I have to say it was

like getting hit by a 40-tonne lorry.

Now that I see it I will never be able to

un-see it. For me I just want to engage

others in conversations that allow

them to see the issues at play.

Prevention for me needs to involve a

dripping tap approach. Not one

response will provide the solution. It

will take many small steps and actions

that together will make the difference

we need.

What, in your opinion is the most

misunderstood, the biggest myth

in the understanding of violence


For me there are many challenges. The

biggest for me is in how society defines

the term violence itself. Most people

will define violence as the physical


“the work I was doing brought me into some conflict with other

colleagues who simply thought that to tackle violence we

needed to come down hard on the criminal. ”

How do people react when you tell

them what you do?

In the last years of my service, the work I was

doing brought me into some conflict with

other colleagues who simply thought that to

tackle violence we needed to come down

hard on the criminal.

I look at violence now through the lens of

public health. This has allowed me to ask lots

of questions about behaviour but at all times

still hold people accountable. What we see

playing out in our communities: the antisocial

behaviour, the violence and the

addictions are often rooted in early years


We ignore these at our peril. This for me is

why our collective response to domestic

violence is so important. We will never have

peace on our streets, and in our world until

we have peace in the home. That’s fact. I’ve

persevered and just kept pegging away, so

much so that many colleagues and even

family members now see the issues at play.

The punch, the kick, the slap. A question I

always ask of people is “If we simply

define violence as the end result, how do

we expect to prevent it?” That’s the first

challenge. We need to think differently

and widen our lens when it comes to

violence. There are many other challenges

including how we blame victims, media

consumption, notions of masculinity.

These may have to wait for another time.

Which question makes you cringe?

Not so much a question but a


As I say above I do a lot of work to

prevent domestic violence and sexual

violence. It’s clear that girls and women

are most at risk and that men are the

main perpetrators.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

I often get men and women reminding

me that men can be victims of

woman’s abuse.

I understand where they are coming

from and of course this form of abuse

is wrong however I sometimes just

want individuals to be able to talk

about men’s violence without having to

focus on woman’s violence. For me it’s

important we separate it.

First thing is not to panic. This is more

about being a friend than having to be

a crime fighter. It’s not your job to

solve this, your role is to be there and

ask the question.

Statements such as “Is everything ok?

I’ve noticed (behaviour/injury). It

looks like something has happened.

You didn’t deserve this.”

Being a bystander to any difficult

situation is going to be difficult

therefor it’s important we think about

our actions if it happened for real. Ask

yourself what’s the alternative if you

do nothing?

“I sometimes just want individuals to be able to talk about men’s

violence without having to focus on woman’s violence.”

If you suspected a friend of yours

of being a victim of violence, how

would you broach the subject, if

at all?

It’s so important that we all start to see

a role in the prevention of violence.

Violence has the potential to be deeply

personal to each and everyone of us.

Victims of violence need our support.

They need to know that they have done

nothing wrong and didn’t deserve their


When it comes to incidences of

domestic and sexual violence this is

vital. These crimes involve power and

control being taken away from victims.

It’s vital we know that we all have the

ability to give some of this power back.

I previously wrote this blog on when a

friend discloses sexual violence. It’s still

very relevant -


( cut and paste into browser)

And what if you thought the friend

was the abuser?

I’m so glad you asked this question. The

ongoing Harvey Weinstein case suggests

that many people around Weinstein knew

what was happening but did nothing.

What does this say to Weinstein?

It gives a form of consent to his actions

and adds to his power. I do however

accept that it can be difficult to challenge

a friend and see a need for us to talk more

about this and provide individuals with

options and ways that this can be done


CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Conflict is difficult. We might lose a

friend, we might get hurt. But again,

ask yourself “What’s the alternative?”

I’m not a believer in simply coming at

this head on with a friend. We need to

come more at this from many different

angles. Saying something like “I’ve

noticed your behaviour with ….. I’m a

bit concerned about this. Is everything


As a man, for me there is a need for

more men to challenge other men on

their abusive behaviour. Let’s not wait

for it to become physical. We need

men to help send out the message that

any form of abuse isn’t tolerated

The conversations will also help us

challenge the thinking of the some. Lastly

we need to provide young people with

safe options that they can use to help,

even challenge their friends. So whilst

education is needed and can happen. For

me its how we engage the young people

that’s critical. I often feel this initial

engagement is missing.

There are some who think the mindset of

a perpetrator cannot be changed and that

change is only possible with a new

generation brought up with different

values. How would you respond to that?

There will be some perpetrators of abuse

that will never change.

“As a man, for me there is a need for more men to

challenge other men on their abusive behaviour.”

How do we educate children in this?

Education is important but for me there is

a step we need to take before education.

There is a real need to open dialog up that

creates a conversations that raise

awareness on these issues. These

conversations allow us to start to provide

the reassurance I feel is needed.

The majority of young people in our

schools possess healthy attitudes that are

being challenged by our culture and

climate. Young people are growing up in a

sexually toxic environment. Yes, we

should be shocked when we read

headlines about increases in sexual

violence in our schools but we shouldn’t

necessarily be surprised.

The reassurance we need to provide will

support young people live their healthy


Criminal justice is the response. I’m doing

work in prisons just now that clearly show

that for some a lack of knowledge around

healthy relationships plays out in the

offences we see. .

I’m not excusing abuse, I just want us to

help some people better understand their

behaviour. In many way’s my approach

forces self-inspection whilst not directly

pointing fingers. A lot of those who

perpetrate abuse have known nothing

else. Behaviours are often taught and

without an opposite they will continue to

play out with harmful consequences.

Again, I’m not excusing abuse. I’m

suggesting that we need to consider the

impact of early adverse childhood

experiences (ACES). The work I’m doing

in prison just now focuses on fatherhood.

Clearly the next generation are at risk of

we don’t look at ways to affect change in


CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Who inspires you?

For me it’s my daughters Alice and

Jenni. We all need a purpose in our

lives. I know both my girls have

experienced sexism and forms of abuse

in their lives. It angers me and has

forced me to self-inspect my own

behaviours when growing up. This in

many ways have been very helpful. My

girls experiences inspire me to make

the invisible, visible, especially when

working with boys and men. I show a

picture of them at most trainings and

presentations I deliver. They are my


What is a typical day ?

Retirement from the police hasn’t

meant that I have slowed down. In

fact, I’m as busy as ever. I’m a bit of a

social media addict using it to extend

my learning and connect with likeminded

people. My day often starts

with some web surfing. Preparation is

important for me. I like to ensure my

content is bespoke and current. A lot of

my time is spent developing my

content to ensure those attending

trainings get the most from it.

How do you switch off from


I sometimes find it hard to totally

switch off. There is so much going on

in the world that both upsets and

angers me.

I just want to develop conversations to

help others see the issues at play.

Walking the dog, running, skiing and

enjoying time with my wonderful wife

all excite me.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

“My girls experiences inspire me to make the invisible,

visible, especially when working with boys and men.”

You’re stranded on a desert

island. Which 3 things could you

not live without? You are not

allowed to say people or pets!

My phone with unlimited data so I can

speak with my wife and family as well

as accessing my Spotify account. Love


Graham, Ive really enjoyed this

interview and it's good to know

more about the man behind the

mission. Thank you so much for

giving CCChat this opportunity.

That will do me. Hopefully my wife will

send out the rescue party after I call

her. By the way I’m assuming there

would be a signal.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible


Norwich Beer Festival

Leeway - Norwich Beer Fesival's Charity of the Year

As a volunteer for Leeway Domestic Abuse, I helped man the stand at the 40th Norwich Beer Festival in

October. The 6 day festival showcased over 250 different beers and the event overall amount raised for

domestic abuse was in excess of £7,000- a phenomenal amount. Thank you CAMRA and real ale drinkers!

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Charity Focus

Interview with

Mandy Procter

CEO, Leeway

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Mandy Procter

CEO, Leeway

Hi Mandy, thank you so much for

agreeing to this interview. I am

thrilled to be interviewing you.

Leeway is a fantastic local charity

and it was a real pleasure to talk

at your recent conference in July.

So, just starting off gently:

Are you a shower or a bath person?

Bath Are you an early bird or a night

owl? Neither! I hate early morning and

don’t like to be too late going to bed

For the benefit of those who don’t

know, could you tell us what you do? I

am Chief Executive Officer of Leeway

Domestic Violence and Abuse Services

who supports adults, children & young

people experiencing domestic abuse.

What made you go into this line

of work?

I started as a volunteer with the charity

in 1989 & because I was passionate

about wanting to support women and

children who were suffering from

domestic abuse.

How do people react when you

tell them what you do? Outside of

the DV sector that is! “

Oh that must be rewarding” is a

popular response.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

What do you consider to be the

most important qualities in

someone working with victims?

Empathy, understanding, nonjudgemental,

supportive, the ability to

advocate on behalf of others.

Knowledge of safeguarding & safety

planning. Awareness of other agencies

both statutory and voluntary that can

also offer additional support.

Ability to confidence build & empower

victims to make positive life choices.

What advice would you give to

someone who didn’t want to report?

If someone is at risk of immediate harm

or in danger the advice I would always

encourage them to report to the police.

The police powers and responses have

drastically improved over time and the

service is there to offer the emergency

response to emergency situations.

For ongoing harassment, stalking and

other abusive behaviours I again

encourage reporting, the abuser can then

hopefully be brought to account for their

behaviour/s through the criminal or civil

justice processes.

“We currently have six refuges across the Norfolk offering 47

emergency bed spaces for women and children fleeing an

abusive situation. ”

How would you respond to someone

who feels that getting funding for

support services is easy?

I would explain that there are many

competitive processes and hoops to jump

through to obtain funds from a whole variety

of funders & that you would need to not have

all your eggs in one basket so to speak.

Who do you admire?

Professor Liz Kelly

Editor's note:

Professor Liz Kelly was one of a group

of women who set up Leeway in

Norwich, in the 1970's.

What is a typical day for you?

Leadership & decision making,

problem-solving, various meetings, bid

reading, governance support for the

board of trustees, liaising with the

media etc etc.

What positive changes in terms

of victim support have you seen

in your time at Leeway and what

still needs to be done?

Leeway have expanded and developed

our services over the last 44 years. We

currently have six refuges across the

Norfolk offering 47 emergency bed

spaces for women and children fleeing

an abusive situation.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Leeway Community services cover

Norfolk and Waveney meeting people

who are living with or fleeing abusive

relationships this includes our helpline

for women and men, as well as

caseworkers, outreach workers and a

children’s team.

We also have an advocacy service for high

risk service users. We have seen many

changes in attitudes and legislation over

this time and partnership working is a big

move forward in reaching and supporting

people experiencing domestic abuse.

We work closely with Norfolk

Constabulary regarding Claire’s Law and

Coercive Control.

What do you do to relax?

Go to the football, spend time with my

family, go on holidays, visit the

seaside. If you were given 3

wishes, what would they be?

Secure long-term funding for domestic

abuse services, Government legislation

to safeguard victims from further

abuse Norwich City Football Club to

win the Premier League

Finally, you’re stranded on a

desert island. Which 3 things

could you not live without?

Chocolate or cake, glass of wine,


“We have seen many changes in attitudes and

legislation over this time ”

We are also involved in many

consultations, both nationally and

locally, and campaign on various

issues alongside Women’s Aid over

many years to improve the lives and

services for women and children.

Many things still need be done like

having a national stalking register and

also for the government to ensure long

term, secure, funding for refuges, as

well as introducing a Commissioner to

ensure good practice is being carried

out by the police and legal system.

Making sure children and teenagers’,

experiencing DA, voices are heard and

that they have adequate support from

DA services.


Thank you so much for giving

your time to this interview. It is

great to know a little bit more

about the CEO of the charity I

volunteer for.

The sponsored headshave did not

reach the target I had hoped for

but am looking at organising

another fundraising event to

support Leeway.

It will be some form of sponsored


but let's get Christmas out of the

way first!


CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible


we need to talk

about this

and we need to talk


CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible



Rachel's story

“I am told that dementia is a complex illness. It

isnt. Coercive control is complex behaviour”

Rachel has been trying to get help for

her mother for many years.

She believes her mother is being failed and

there is nothing she can do to make those

who are in a position to help her, see.

She has tried and tried and tried but, instead,

she has come away with the awareness that

SHE is being seen as the problem.

Not the abuser, the emotionally bereft

emotional abuser who has isolated Rachel's

mum, but, instead, the daughter who

desperately wants her mother to be safe.

I have talked to Rachel on numerous

occasions. We have been in contact nearly 2

years. Throughout that time she has told me

what has happened, filling me in on the

background, updating me on the present.

I have literally wanted to bang my head in

frustration at the blind ignorance, the

failings to recognise areas that should flag up

a serious safeguarding concern.

For some reason ,those concerns remain

unflagged. Or, to be more accurate, the case

has been looked into but nothing has ever

been found.

He appears devoted to his wife, so devoted he

spends all his time with her. He claims it is to

reassure her. He claims she only wants him to

look after her.

Rachel's mum has dementia and no capacity. She

tells me of some horrifying examples of lack of

understanding, negligent care and poor practice.

There was the time social care refused to see she

was at risk. She looked well presented so they

surmised she was well cared for- because she was

wearing clean clothes and he had brushed her hai,

she was safe..

There was the time the perpetrator managed to

get a copy of highly confidential meeting notes

discussing the potential risk he posed to Rachel's


There was the time he admitted giving her his

medication. Highly addictive sleeping pills. He

said he had been told he could do that, if Rachel's

mum became unmanageable and he couldn't cope.

That it did not alert them to possible risk,

especially when he refused social care, saying he

wanted to do it all himself. Even though he

admitted medicating her when he plainly couldn't.

There was the time he insisted on no outside help,

saying he could manage, saying he wanted to be

the one looking after his wife. He was in in


CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Many a time, Rachel has worried that he

might go to the police to make a compaint of

harassment. This would inevitably result in

her not being able to visit her mum,

increasing the already significant isolation

and incresing the risk of harm of Rachel's


Rachel is exhausted. She has been trying to

have her mum moved to a safer environment

for several years. it has taken a toll on her

health, her relationship with her family and

also on their finances.

She tells me she has not had a holiday

abroad, with her husband, for several years.

She insists on one of them being in the

country in case something happens to her


There was the time he accused Rachel of

lying and only wanting to get her hands on

the inheritance.

This, even though Rachel wanted her mum

transferred to a care home which would have

eaten up the inheritance she was trying to grasp.

Noone saw the contradiction. It was easier to

scapegoat Rachel as the one with the problem, the

one who was a risk to her mother.

This is no way to live, there is no way this is

sustainable. Rachel spends her life in a

hypervigilant state fretting over what her

mum may be subjected to.

What Rachel can't understand is that others

can see the concerns and yet the

professionals who are supposed to safeguard

her are oblivious to 'red flags'.

“I still expect to be lied to,

stonewalled, by adult social care.”

He had Power of Attorney but even so, Rachel was

unable to find a single domestic abuse support

agency that would look at the case. Why? Because

she lacked mental capacity.

Visits were made as difficult as possible. He

insisted on staying in the room. If Rachel's mum

became confused, he told her that she and Rachel

had had a row and she had told him she wanted

Rachel to go.

Or that she had fallen and needed to stay in bed to

rest and get better, that she is was the one asking

to go to bed, to be left in bed - sometimes all day.

If Rachel said anything, he accused her of

defamation, of lying, of being the bully.

She really struggles with this seemingly

unbelievable cognitive dissonance and

can't help but wonder if she really IS the

problem - as all the professionals have

come to see her.

There have been many times when Rachel

has been tempted to throw in the towel

but a small voice always stops her:

"We all become old eventually."

It is this thought which spurs her on.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible


Kelly's Story



here is one day now ingrained on my mind. This was

the day that my non molestation order was due to


As it got nearer this date, my anxiety levels

accelerated and I felt constantly on edge.

I was granted a non molestation order after the CPS dropped my case. The

police advised me to urgently make an application for a non molestation

order after all bail conditions were dropped

The order was finally granted after several weeks of my ex partner continuing

his abuse of me but through the court system. He evaded the application

which had to be served and requested that he would only accept the

paperwork electronically which therefore meant another court appearance at a

further cost.

On the final appearance at court he had stated that he would not contest the

order, however I felt sure that he would on the day. True to form, he

contacted my solicitor stating that he was running late and was stuck in traffic

but was looking forward to seeing her in court, she said he was lovely on the

phone! As my solicitor said she hated dealing with his un- predictable


He arrived at Family Court late; I was petrified, I had requested special

measures due the nature of the case -he had previously threatened to kill me if

I went to the police- but here were none. We were in the same room. My

Barrister informed him of the process,as he was self representing, he would

have been able to cross examine me, if I'd had no legal representation.

True to form he then said he would be contesting the order. My Barrister

informed me that he had re-written the order and informed him that this

would mean a further court appearance and that we would be requesting his

criminal history.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

At this point a member of staff

intervened and we were called in to the

court room.

The Judge immediately said to my Ex

partner it is my understanding that

you were not going to contest this

order however you have now changed

your mind.

I had a good judge that put my ex

partner firmly in his place, he was told

given the seriousness of the allegations

and the fact that you state that you

never want to see this woman again! I

ask why you feel the need to contest


I was utterly relieved that the order

was granted and that I had some sort

of protection and peace of mind.

My ex is calculating and I am all too

aware that whilst there is an order in

place that states that he is not allowed

any contact with myself both directly

or indirectly and not allowed to

instruct a third party to threaten or

intimate me , that I am safe.

All professionals have stated that he is

dangerous and I am a high risk victim

I know.

All professionals have stated that he is dangerous and I

am a high risk victim

At this point he lost his cool and the

judge was able to see exactly the types

of behaviours that had bought us to

this. He swore at me, calling me a liar

and every expletive under the sun, it

was at this point that the judge told

him that he needed to accept the order,

he reluctantly agreed and asked

whether his employer would need to

be informed of this he then stormed

out of court.

I am lucky to have left the relationship

and still be alive, two years on.

However, I was all too aware that I

would need to either move from my

home town when the order expired or

re apply for an extension. The latter is

what I did.

This is a man who says he is a changed

person; he has previous for kidnap,

armed robbery and drug charges.

However he now works for a major

corporation so prides himself on this.

My ex showed his real self at this stage,

completely losing his cool screaming

and shouting at myself and my

barrister in the court waiting room.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible






on't feed the trolls. I hear that a lot. If you follow me

on Twitter, you'll understand why. It's not because I

have an insatiable appetite to respond. To be perfectly

honest, dismissing them would be a relatively easy

thing to do. I choose not to.

Having been in a relationship that was coercive and controlling but where, for the

longest time, I did not recognise that I was the victim ( so carefully had he spun the

web of lies to say it was all me), the BIGGEST question I had was How?

How did I not see it?

How did I not get out?

How did I react in the way that I did?

How was I able to hide it from everyone, especially myself?

These questions, and many more, would lead me down the path of identifying 'red

flags'. Those little signs at the beginning of a relationship that niggle away.You can't

quite put a finger on it, it is uncomfortable, it is there.

It is also a mystery.

It's easy to overlook those subtle 'red flags'.

People are, essentially, nice most of us believe in the goodness on mankind. Many of

us are blessed with humanity. Where it can become an issue is when we overlook

certain signals because we want to give people the benefit of the doubt, we don't

want to judge, we don't want to readily condemn.

Manipulative abusers know this and play on it. They use words like overacting,

paranoid, too sensitive. These words feed into our insecurities. We all want to be


This brings me onto a subject that conflicts me greatly.

How to deal with the troll?

Don't feed them, ignore, block them.

I hear these comments all the time. There is a bit of a running joke within the

Twitter community that knows me. " She's off again" is fairly common as is, "Are

you ok?"

Those who know me well know that this is what I have to do. I engage to pin point,

to highlight, to document what is THE essence of invisible in plain sight.

The motivations and patterns of abusive mobbing.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Let's be clear, this is not trolling. It's

not some contemptible twit bashing

out his or her inadequacies on a

keyboard. It's not some delinquent

getting his or her jollies. It's not the

cacophony of inflamed anti feminists

screeching loud and proud about

THEIR equality, THEIR

egalitarianism, THEIR inclusiveness.

By ostacising.

Funny that.

When I refer to mobbing, I am

referring to the smear campaigns, the

shouting down, the silencing, the gang

baiting ego driven, hate filled enraged

polemic that operates in tandem.

And, most of all, I refer to the shrill

screeching of the mock outraged who

claim to highlight the injustice of false


By making up their own false


I refer to the ability of some who goad,

incite, mock, attack, demean, degrade,

humiliate, harangue, defame a target

into responding.

So THEY can claim they are the victim

Or they can say it is 'tit for tat'

Or reciprocal

“Part of recognising what is invisble in plain sight is

acknowledging what is in plain sight.”

I refer to the so called advocates

(SCAs) who trawl the internet for the

prey they seek to validate and verify

their bloated yet empty claims.

I refer to the disaffected who lash out

at all who disagree because THEY have

been hurt, THEY have been violated,

THEY have suffered.

And, somehow, they feel it justifies

their behaviour.

I refer to the axes that are ground by

spreading rumour and innuendo and

fantasy as fact.

When it is ANYTHING BUT.

Part of recognising what is invisble in

plain sight is acknowledging what is in

plain sight.

You can give a blind person a book but

you can't make them see.

If we want stalking, harassment, cyber

bullying, any king of bullying, coercive

control to be taken seriously, we need

to take our heads OUT of the sand and

not only recognise but FLAG UP what

is there.

Right under your nose.

Invisible in plain sight.

Min Grob

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Just some of the examples of 'Mobbing'

Mobbing is not trolling. It is coordinated silencing.

It is a carefully orchestrated and choreographed mass attack on

a common 'foe'.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Just some of the examples of 'Mobbing'

Abusers attach to others to intimidate and denigrate en masse.

It won't be long before the person trying to discredit you starts

engaging with others who disagree with you. to form an alliance.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible


Mediator and Panel Member

of CCChat Discussion Group


am interviewing Gwen Owen, a commercial and civil

mediator with offices in the medieval grid of Suffolk

market-town, Bury St Edmunds.

Starting next year, the first CCChat Discussion Group

will start, in Bury St Edmunds, with Gwen as one of

the panel members.

Hi Gwen, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview and thank

you also for letting me use your offices for the upcoming CCChat

Discussion Group. I wanted to find out a little more about what you do

so, for the first question: Are you a shower or a bath person?

A bit of both really. Shower in the morning but I love a bath at night. Are you an

early bird or a night owl?

More of a night owl but I can get up in the morning and can hit the floor running, if

I need to.

Your offices are based in the centre of Bury St Edmunds. What is the

best thing about being in Bury St Edmunds?

Oh where do I start! I love the feel of the town:- Abbey Gardens , all the cafés,

independent shops, the Wednesday and Saturday Market, the friendly people, the

Cathedral, the surrounding villages and the community spirit of our Facebook page:


As you know, I raise awareness of coercive control. What do you think

needs to be done to improve understanding?

Generally there is no hiding the fact there is physical abuse in many relationships;

we can see the evidence of this when someone has been affected. Mental cruelty and

coercive control, can be hidden by the perpetrator and the victim, therefore if more

people have an understanding of how damaging and dangerous coercive control can

be, there will be more opportunities for victims to be heard and understood.

Hopefully this will result in less situations sliding under the radar.

There is an enormous need to educate potential victims by providing support and

general awareness. The need for self worth, self belief together with the knowledge

they will be listened to, will provide strength to the potential victim. This means the

perpetrator who is attempting coercive control will not have the level of power

required to succeed.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

I know you are a mediator, but

that’s all I know. Could you tell me a

little more about it?

Mediation can be an effective solution

when an argument / disagreement cannot

be rectified with the personnel involved.

It is less costly than resorting to courts

and can often provide a more acceptable

outcome because both parties are given

equal input.

My training in Commercial & Civil

Mediation has been further enhanced by

my training and knowledge in group


I fit a gym workout in when I can but

have been lax over the past months due to

spending a number of nights away

looking after my Mother.

I do generally enjoy exercise so I want to

get back into a healthy routine. My day is

then taken up with meeting clients or

potential clients, answering emails and

preparing mail outs.

My hobbies are Dramatics and as a

member of Bury Theatre Workshop, I’m

either rehearsing for a play or helping

with the set-up of the next play, twice a


This provides me with a wonderful outlet

and tremendous fun.

“I believe you need to have an open mind, be non

judgemental and to know you’re not there

to solve their problem.”

Mediation can be effective in many areas

of conflict such as neighbour disputes ,

business agreements • Business

Partnership Disputes , doctor / patient

disputes • family disputes around wills .

My role as a Mediator is to facilitate the

discussions, not to advise or suggest

solutions. I listen to the options each

person wishes to offer and go back and

forth to each person until there is an

agreed acceptable outcome.

What would be a typical day for


I get up around 7 to 7:30 am, check

emails and after showering, arrive in my

office any time from 9 to 10:30 am,

depending on whether I have an evening

group counselling session.

In your opinion, what are the qualities

to look out for in a good mediator?

I believe you need to have an open mind, be

non judgemental and to know you’re not

there to solve their problem. Encourage

people to believe they have the answers and

provide them with the space and belief they

can come up with an acceptable solution.

To contact Gwen:


Mobile: 07979 151509

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

New for 2018


Discussion Groups

First East Anglia, then nationwide

Making The Invisible Visible


CCChat Discussion Group

Starting 2018

Bury St Edmunds

CCChat Discussion Group

Starting 2018


CCChat Discussion Group

Starting 2018


CCChat Discussion Group

Starting 2018


On the 1st Nov our discussion point was

‘financial abuse’ and there was a lot to be

said by many. It created many conversations

and I have selected a few tweets so you can

see what real people are saying about the

topic. Anyone can get involved, all you have

to do is sign into Twitter on the dedicated

time and tweet with the #AbuseTalk.

The account @AbuseChat will retweet and be

involved in the conversation. If you have any

articles, blog posts, thoughts, feelings on

domestic abuse then this is a space were you

can express it

Don’t know what a Twitter Chat is?

“A Twitter chat is a public Twitter

conversation around one unique hashtag.

This hashtag allows you to follow the

discussion and participate in it. Twitter chats

are usually recurring and on specific topics to

regularly connect people with these


CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

NEW: Online Book Club

more than books, books with messages



Gilmour has launched a book club with a difference.

Read books that relate to domestic abuse. There will be

interviews, reviews, a chance to share your thoughts as talking

points and win exclusive signed copies of some of the books

featured. Any questions or want to get involved?


Book for November 2017

Autumn Sky by Helen Pryke ????? on Amazon UK. FREE short story on Amazon:

The day Julia’s best friend Becky gives her a magazine article to read, her whole world falls apart.

After years of emotional and psychological abuse, is Julia ready to face the truth about her perfect

marriage to Simon or will she continue to hide her head in the sand? Autumn Sky is a short story of

7,000 words. It includes an excerpt of Walls of Silence, Helen Pryke’s debut novel. My own thoughts

on Autumn Sky: “What a powerful short story that makes an impact. Helen has done a fantastic job

on portraying the anxiety of a victim and I have to say I particularly valued how she has brought

some of the facts of domestic abuse through a magazine article in the book.

It is a challenging job to educate through fiction when you are using it as a piece of entertainment

and Helen has done this exceptionally well. I wanted to read more and find out what happened

further, I was kept intrigued and I related to the victim. Thank you Helen for this short piece which I

am sure will help those who are in abusive relationships realise they are worth more and that it’s

unacceptable behaviour. A must read”

I had the opportunity to ask Helen a couple of questions:

What would you like readers to gain from your short story?

I hope that my short story will reach readers from all walks of life, both male and female, and help

them understand what psychological abuse is like and why the victim can’t leave in most cases. I

hope that people who have never been in an abusive situation will come away from my story with a

deeper understanding and compassion for those who go through these things every day. Most of all, I

hope that someone who is experiencing this type of abuse will read Autumn Sky and it will give them

the courage, and the hope, to take the first step towards asking for help.

Is domestic abuse at the core of all your writing or do you write about anything else?

My books do have abuse at their core, but they are also about strong women who overcome terrible

situations, despite the odds. I’ve written a full-length novel, Walls of Silence, that deals with all kinds

of abuse – sexual, domestic, psychological, emotional. I wrote it just after having left an abusive

relationship, and it was a way to get rid of the anger and hurt inside me. My latest novel, The Healer’s

Secret, is also about abuse, and the effects it has on a family, but there are other elements interwoven

into the story. Sometimes I need to take a break from writing about such traumatic subjects, and I

have recently published a middle grade children’s book under a pen name, with another one due out

next year.

Thank you Helen for giving your time to answer those questions. Do you have thoughts on

Autumn Sky? Email me by the end of November at

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

The Gallery Highwaymans

Risby, Nr Bury St Edmunds

01284 810283;

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

The Gallery Highwaymans is situated

just outside Bury St Edmunds.

If you're planning an event in Bury St

Edmunds, this venue has facilities

measuring 30 square feet (3 square

meters), including a meeting room.

Free self parking.

Make yourself at home in one of the 8

guestrooms. Complimentary wireless

Internet access is available to keep you

connected. Conveniences including

desks, and both irons/ironing boards

and cribs/infant beds (surcharge) are

available on request.

An ideal venue for a gallery opening, a

conference, a retreat or just an escape

to the country.

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible

Elizabeth Hodder

Gross & Co Solicitors

If you need to see a solicitor but don't qualify for legal aid,

then pared down straight talking is what you need

Elizabeth Hodder is a Solicitor,

Collaborative Lawyer, Partner and

Head of the Family Law

Department at Gross & Co in Bury

St Edmunds, Suffolk.

She sees clients from all walks of life

including:- Doctors, Dentists, Vets,

Solicitors, Bankers, Accountants,

Teachers, Farmers, Police Officers, Prison

Officers, Grandparents.

As well as members (serving and retired)

of HM Forces, Financial Advisors, Small

Business Owners and

throughout England and abroad.

Elizabeth also acts for a large number of

expatriates whose domicile may or may

not be in the UK, but who have issues

which need to be resolved in the English


About Elizabeth:

Elizabeth has practised as a Solicitor in

Bury St. Edmunds since qualifying in

1984 and has been actively involved in

the local community over the years in

may roles including : Trustee of the

Bury St Edmunds Citizens Advice

Bureau Trustee of Relate (formerly

West Suffolk Marriage Guidance)

Director of Women’s Aid. Trustee of

Meningioma UK (a registered charity

providing support and information for

people with a rare form of brain


In her spare time, which she admits is

scant, she enjoys many sports and

activities including going to the gym;

pilates; tennis; cycling; walking;

looking after my allotment.

Elizabeth Hodder

Gross & Co

83-84 Guildhall St, Bury Saint

Edmunds IP33 1LN

Tel: 01284 763333

CCChat Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible


Financial settlements, Living Together

Agreements Contact/Residence of children

Cases involving a foreign or international

element with assets in the UK or abroad

Editor's note:

Elizabeth was my divorce lawyer. I had

a strong need to get out of the

marriage as soon as possible and

chose to divorce without looking at

child arrangements and financial

matters. As a result of that I was

divorced within 4 months and acted as

a litigant in person for children and


This isn't a step for everyone but I

needed to free myself from the control

as soon as I could as I felt suffocated.

Elizabeth made it happen.


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