CCChat Magazine

CCCountdown to

Conference Edition

The Magazine on Coercive Control

Issue 9

May 2018


Inside this edition:

Conference Latest

Starting this month:

Exclusive Serialisation of

Freedom's Flowers by Pat Craven


Editor's Notes

3 The Countdown Has Started!

It's all go, here in the office!

CCChat Exclusive!!

4 Serialisation of Pat Craven's

Freedom's Flowers starts this


Become a Patron!

9 CCChat is now on Patreon. Do you like

what we do and want to help make the

invisible visible? Here's your chance.

Abuse Talk/ Online Book Club

12 Jennifer Gilmour gives us the


Conference Day Is Approaching

17 What to expect on the day.

A Whole Different Ballgame

22 How a survivor is raising awareness of

abuse through football.

Virtual Violence

25 Update on the recent conference

organised by Dr Emma Bond

2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible

Editor's Notes


Min Grob started Conference

on Coercive Control in June

2015 following a relationship

that was coercive and


Since then, there have been

three national conferences,

various speaking

engagements and a monthly

online publication- CCChat


2018 will see the start of

CCChat Live Discussion

Groups as well as details of

the next Conference on

Coercive Control which will

Take place at the university

of Bristol.

Min is particularly

interested in how

perpetrator tactics can be

identified and has spoken on

the challenging subject of

differentiating between

strident discourse and

deliberate baiting.

With the use of examples

from social media, various

covert tactics aimed at

provoking a response can be

identified with the aim of

creating greater awareness

of how abuse manifests when

it is invisible in plain sight.

Min also talks on coercive

control both her personal

experiences and more


Let's grow the


Editor contact details:


Photo by Alex Kilbee of


The countDown Has


Hello everyone and welcome to this edition of CCChat. It's been a very

busy month both workwise and personally. The kids are in full flow exam

mode and I have been busy working on the conference as well as

attending events, having meetings and speaking at a Virtual Violence

conference at the University of Suffolk ( see page 25) which gave me the

opportunity to speak on the subject of how abusers use social media to

abuse, often anonymously or by using proxies who can be both aware of

the abuse, or act as unwitting enablers.

There is also exciting news in that this conference is proud to partner with

Bristol Zero Tolerance, a new initiative set up by Bristol Women's

Commission. ( More in next month's CCChat*)

Both this upcoming conference and next year's are being sponsored by

The Freedom Programme but fear not, there are still opportunities to

sponsor both the conference and also this magazine so, if you are

interested, please do get in touch.

I would also like a moment to mention 22 year old survivor Alex Skeel,

whose ex girlrfiend was recently jailed for 7 years for GBH with intent and

a further 6 months for coercive and controlling behaviour. Much has been

made of the fact that Alex was the first male to have a female partner

convicted of 'controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate or family

relationship'. The fact that both Alex and his ex girlfriend were only 16

when they met is, to my mind, much more significant and highlights the

urgent need for potentially lifesaving education into what a healthy

relationship looks like. Alex is raising awareness of domestic abuse

through his new football project. Please take a look at his Just Giving

page and consider a donation.

CCChat's resident columnist the indefatigable Jennifer Gilmour also has

some very exciting news. More on page 12.

All that remains is to get back to work and see you all next month!!


Making The Invisible Visible 2018


by Pat Craven

I wrote the Freedom Programme in 1998 after

working in Probation Service Perpetrator


Since then, I have heard hundreds of firsthand

accounts from women who have escaped from

abusive relationships because they have attended

the Freedom Programme or read my books ‘Living

with the Dominator’ and the ‘Freedom

Programme Home Study Course’. Others have

escaped because they joined the Freedom

Programme Forum which is an online community

for women who need information and support to

deal with abusive partners.

The complete Freedom Programme is now

available online in a variety of languages. Women,

girls, men and boys have now sent me their

harrowing accounts stories of childhood abuse

and violence. I have included them in this book.

Women have chosen to be identified by the name

of a flower. I have also trained thousands of

‘professionals’ to facilitate the Freedom

Programme and the majority of these trainees

have also been survivors. They have also told me

that, until they did my sessions on the ‘Effects of

Abuse on Children’ in the programme, they had

blamed themselves for failing to protect their


After completing this session, many said they

“finally realised” that the blame lies with the

Dominator and not with them.

When we do become aware of how our children

have been affected by the Dominator, we often say

“I wish I had left sooner” and we blame ourselves.

However, the only acceptable and responsible

reply is: “You left when you could. If you could

have left sooner you would have done so!” I also

clearly recall my own delusional and confused

thinking from the days before I wrote the

Freedom Programme.

I colluded with abusers in my role as a Probation

Officer and put countless women in danger,

because I had no understanding of how abusive

men think and function. Since 1998, I have

radically changed my views, and have reached

some very different conclusions. For example,

there is no such being as an ‘abused woman’.

We are not a breed apart and we do not live in a

bubble. We are not in abusive relationships

because we are stupid, evil, alcoholic, poor, ill

educated, mentally ill, unemployed or drug users.

We are from every social, professional and

economic group. We do not know that we are

being abused. Therefore, we do not know that our

children are being abused. We do not make the

connection between their behaviour and the man

in our life. Why should we? No one else does.

Many professionals involved in the child

protection industry do not have this information

either. Many blame women for deliberately

colluding with abusers.

2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible

“Is his current victim attending the Freedom


“Yes she is.”

“He is very welcome to attend my weekend.

However, before he comes he must read my book

called ‘Living with the Dominator’.

“No. He is not a Dominator. He is a lovely


A lovely man! Really?

He killed his first wife and attacked his second

and he is lovely?

I am not blaming that social worker. I was just the

same when I was completely in the dark about

how abusers operate. She is not unique.

A social worker who trained in America told me

that she was taught to believe that there is a

certain kind of woman who is attracted to abusers.

Others collude unknowingly with the abuser just

as I used to do. At some time in the last year or so,

I answered the phone to a social worker who was

trying to refer a man to one of my men’s

weekends. I occasionally provide these for men

who ‘want to become nicer men’.

Other social workers and family workers have

been trained to use ‘Solution Focused Therapy’

with mothers who do not appear to be capable of

parenting their children. SFBT targets the desired

outcome of therapy as a solution rather than

focusing on the symptoms or issues.

In this book, you will read accounts written by

women who have been subjected to brutal

physical violence and extreme emotional and

psychological abuse.

If any of them encounters one of these ‘therapists’

they will be invited to imagine how their lives

could be improved and then consider ways of

achieving this outcome.

"I colluded with abusers in my role as a Probation Officer and put

countless women in danger, because I had no

understanding of how abusive men think and function. "

Pat Craven

The conversation went something like this:

“I want to tell you his history.”

“I don’t want to hear it. I will take any man as long as

he behaves. I would accept Jack the Ripper as long as

he does as he is told!”

“No, it is not like that. He was so dreadfully abused by

his first wife that he ended up serving a sentence for

manslaughter. When he came out, he met a new

girlfriend who was really nice. When she became

pregnant, we completed a risk assessment for the

baby and because she was so pleasant and they

seemed so happy that we judged the risk to be low.

He recently lost his temper, lashed out and hit her.

He is really sorry and is desperate for help to control

his temper.”

Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss is another person

who believes that women collude with their


She was the president of the High Court's Family


In the House of Lords, on 27.01.12, she said:

“Many women prefer the man to the child. She

may, or may not, have committed the offence;

much more likely is that she is covering up

because the man is her support-financially and in

every other way and, when faced with the choice

between a man and a child, again and again, in

my experience, the woman has chosen the man.”

2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible

I completely disagree with that statement.

When we women are in an abusive relationship we

are not in a position to make any informed choice.

We are completely controlled. We are

brainwashed by the abuser and we do not know

that he is damaging our children.

Most women who have been sent on the

programme by social workers tell me that,

initially, they had no idea why they were there.

The Dominator effectively hypnotises his victims

and unless we have done the Freedom Programme

we have no idea what is happening. Many of those

who offer professional help are also being abused

but they do not know it. This woman victim is also

a barrister.

Mail Online – 2 November 2011

Wife attack Judge James Allen sacked

A deputy high court judge who hit his wife during

a row has been sacked for bringing the judiciary

into disrepute.

James Allen QC was given a 12-month

supervision order by District Judge Daphne

Wickham after being convicted at Bradford

Magistrates Court in June.

A spokeswoman for the Office for Judicial

Complaints confirmed on Wednesday that

61-year-old Allen had been removed from his


During the trial Allen claimed his wife inflicted

injuries on herself. She backed up his story. Mrs

Allen is also a trained barrister.

One of the firsthand accounts that I have included

in this book describes a situation where a serial

abuser was cohabiting with two women

simultaneously. One was a social worker and the

other a teacher. Both bore him children.

We women are also constantly being told by the

media and the judiciary that we are letting our

children down by being single parents. The

following recent quote is a prime example.

BBC News - 1 May 2012 By Katherine

Sellgren BBC News education and family


The breakdown of marriage is one of the "most

destructive scourges" in modern UK society, says

a High Court Judge. Sir Paul Coleridge is so

concerned about family breakdown that he has

launched a campaign to champion marriage as

the ‘gold standard for relationships’.

2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible

We need to understand exactly why abusive men

want to control women and we must be told

exactly how our children are affected.

We also need to learn how their lives will improve

after the Dominator has gone.

We can get this information from the Freedom


The final part of the book, before the appendix, is

the most important and optimistic. This focuses

on the improvements we can make for our

children when we encounter the Freedom

Programme and remove the Dominator from their

lives. We face great difficulties, but we can make a

difference if we know what can be achieved.

If Sir Paul were to about read some of the

marriages described in this book he may not be

quite so complacent.

It seems to me that we women who attend the

Freedom Programme and who join our online

community are living in a parallel universe. I hear

the Government talking about ‘troubled families’

and then I think of the ‘trouble’ we experience

when living with a Dominator.

I want to shout “Wake up!

Ironically, in western society, the media and

Government appear to ignore this. We call it

‘Honour Killing’ when it happens in Asian

families, but seem afflicted by selective blindness

when it happens to our relatives and neighbours

who are not Asian.

The main body of this book is based upon the

section in the Freedom Programme that deals

with the effects of domestic abuse on children. I

have divided children in to three categories. The

first group is comprised of a pregnant woman, an

unborn child and a newborn baby. The second

group is made up of children who are around six

years old. The third group is teenagers.

“ We need to recognise and name abusive tactics.”

Pat Craven

This is what is actually happening to us and to our

children. Why can’t you see it?”

It is hardly surprising that we are confused. We

are blamed for staying and we are blamed for

leaving. If we are religious, there is even more

pressure on us to stay in dangerous relationships.

Instead of asking “Why doesn’t she just leave”

We should ask ‘Why doesn’t he just stop?’

However, the fact remains that the only person

who can save the lives of vulnerable and abused

children is their mother. No one else has the

power to make the changes that are desperately

needed. We, as mothers, can only make these

changes when we are given information. We need

to recognise and name abusive tactics.

All these chapters include firsthand testimonies

from women and children that illustrate how each

group is affected. I also include some other

personal stories as short chapters, which are

complete in their own compelling way.

The final part of the book, before the appendix, is

the most important and optimistic. This focuses

on the improvements we can make for our

children when we encounter the Freedom

Programme and remove the Dominator from their

lives. We face great difficulties, but we can make a

difference if we know what can be achieved.



Reproduced with kind permission of Pat Craven

and The Freedom Programme.

2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible

CCChat Magazine is now on Patreon

If you have enjoyed reading the magazine and would like to be

a part of developing and improving it, please consider

becoming a patron and help create a bigger platform for


Please cut and paste the following into your browser to take

you directly to the page.

2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible

Abuse Talk & Book Club

by Jennifer Gilmour

This month Jennifer has exciting news:

The launch date for #AbuseTalk forum

Abuse Talk

You can join in every Wednesday 8-9pm GMT via

#AbuseTalk on Twitter. Anyone can get involved with the

discussions, 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.

Recent discussions include children, housing and resources.

People are welcome to make suggestions on the theme of

the week, so do ask if you would like to see people’s

thoughts on a certain subject.


Last month I spoke about my hopes in launching the

#AbuseTalk forum which almost an extension from the

Twitter Chat so we can discuss further.

I have a launch date for you all: 30th May 2018.

How can service providers get involved?

The forum will be for everyone who has an interest in

domestic abuse (whether its within a charity setting or

someone who has experienced domestic abuse).

People will be able to share their local information,

services, free online material, support and more on the


It will be a place that brings everyone together.

What happens to #AbuseTalk Twitter chat?

It will not affect the running of #AbuseTalk apart from

working hand in hand at times.

Twitter is a fantastic place to be but tweets are public

and sometimes people will feel unable to share via a

tweet, never mind the limit on characters.

The forum is there to provide people with that lengthier

conversation and a membership is required to join the


There is room for you to get involved as well, as sponsors or

to bring awareness of the new forum.

I will be building a media pack to welcome the new forum, if

you would like to know more about sponsoring or bringing

awareness please get in touch with me.

2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible

Online Book Club

“More than books, books with messages”

The message between the lines”

“Book of the month”

About the book club

A book club with a difference. Read books that relate to

domestic abuse either as entertainment or educational value.

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.

If you have any questions or want to get involved get in touch

with Jennifer Gilmour,


Born in the North East, I am a young, married mum with

three children. My debut novel, ‘Isolation Junction’ was

published in 2016. Since this publication I have continued to

be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through my

blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed. I am delighted

to be hosting the Online Book Club and reading along with


What Are you Reading?

This month I thought I would share what I am currently

reading with you. I would like to hear what you are reading as

well. Lets get some readers recommendations in here as

well, email me at and let me

know. At the moment I am reading: No Fourth River by

Christine Clayfield. I am privileged to be connected with this

brave women who has not been shy on detail in her book. I

am almost half way through and I have felt as a reader as if I

was a fly on the wall and watching what is happening before

me. I can honestly say its made me feel uncomfortable at

times but I know from having conversations with Christine to

hang on in there. I am sure she won’t mind me being honest

here and thats what this spot is about. If you haven’t seen

Christine’s feed on Twitter it is filled with positive quotes and

motivation as well as reviews from readers and support of

others in a similar field. Her drive is inspiring. "My past holds

much pain and abuse, but it did not stop me from being the

woman I am today by transforming my life and building the

future I wanted. After my painful and abusive past, I decided

to change my life around. At some point in my life, I simply

had nothing.”

Christine Clayfiend

Find out more

about this book here:

2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible

Emma Anderson as a child endured, not only

watching her mother live a life as a victim of

domestic abuse, but became a victim herself.

Emma’s experiences filter through the books,

explaining why she is the way she is and why she

developed the coping mechanisms she has.

They are the source of everything she is, her scars

moulded her. Her mother, a recurring victim of

domestic violence is caught in a cycle of abusive

men that she attracts, over and over again and is

the breaking point in the mother and daughter


Emma willing to be free of abusers leaves, finds a

life for herself , free from control and violence.

Meanwhile, her mother returns to the circle

of abusers over and over, unable to break free

from the vicious reality that affects a lot of victims

of domestic abuse.

I always have two books on the go and usually one

is a research or difficult read and the other is more

of an easy read.

Do you do the same?

Do you allow yourself to switch over?

Inability to break free of the mental control it can

have of them. The two women, take different

paths from the same experience and this is a story

of how it can affect victims differently, affect

children and shape their lives.

Find out more about this book here:

I will of course be giving reviews of both of these

books when I am finished.

This is a story of how it can affect victims differently,

affect children and shape their lives.

The Carrero Effect: Jake and Emma (The

Carrero Series Book 1) by L.T.Marshall

L.T.Marshall is another author I am privileged to

be connected with as she recognises what I am

trying to achieve through my writing she also has

domestic abuse woven through her popular

Cerrero series.

To find out more about Jennifer:

I have just started book one and it is an enjoyable

read for me at the moment, I can see some flags

popping up in the plot which are very cleverly


2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible



Winner from April/May’s giveaway, an

eBook copy of Broken Pieces by Rachel

Thompson is:

Becky Rhoades in the USA.

Congratulations Becky!!

If you haven’t won, don't worry

because there will be further

opportunities to enter.

Keep an eye out in future editions of

CCChat Magazine.

2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible

What to


on the day

2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible

Conference on Coercive

Control 2018 - Bristol

The Conference this year is at the University of

Bristol and the theme: Making The Invisible Visible

Why is coercive control so

difficult to identify and


How can we increase

understanding of abuse that is

hidden in plain sight?

How can we recognise the red

flags so we can walk away


How can we learn where to

look when there is so much


This conference looks at abuse

that falls below the radar.

Because that is EXACTLY

where perpetrators want it to



This is the 3rd national Conference on

Coercive Control and the aim is to achieve a

greater understanding of abuse that remains

hidden in plain sight.

What does this mean?

It means the victim knows their abuser, what

makes them tick and also the tactics they use

to undermine, subjugate, isolate and control

but it is not always apparent to outsiders.

It is important to understand how this

happens and the extent of it as, all too often,

the abuser will provoke the victim into a

negative responses and then claim that

THEY, the abuser, is the victim.

We need to be able to identify and evidence

when this happens as, all too often, the

natural tendency is to dismiss the abuse as a

spat, a dispute, a tiff. All too often it is

dismissed as toxic or hostile or volatile with

the hidden subtext that both parties are

culpable, rather than one who is provoking,

prodding, goading, belittling, demeaning,

degrading the other.

This year's speakers will be looking at and

around coercive control in order to shine a

light on an oft misunderstood and

misreprentated form of manipulation.

2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible


Tackling the subject

of domestic abuse

through football

Scoring Goals

Alex Skeel was battered, stabbed,

burned, denied food, forced to sleep on

the floor and kept away from his family.

His ex, Jordan Worth was jailed for

seven years after pleading guilty to GBH

with intent, with a further six-months for

coercive and controlling behaviour.

22-year-old Alex is now urging other

victims to speak out and raising money

for a football project.

Bedford Rangers U18’s

Alex Skeel, is raising awareness of male

victims of domestic abuse through his

new football project.

Bedford Park Rangers U18’s is raising

funds and awareness of male victims of

domestic abuse. All proceeds will go to

domestic abuse charities and the

football kit will be heavily sponsored to

raise the profile of DA.

2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible

On 10th May, University of Suffolk held a Virtual

Violence Conference.

Organised by Dr Emma Bond, Laura Higgins

founder of the Revenge Porn Helpline, was one of

the keynote speakers, alongside Professor Andy

Phippen from University of Plymouth.

Dr Emily Setty, whose PhD investigated the

phenomena of ‘youth sexting’ and digital sexting


Other speakers included Detective Inspector Ben

Clark, of Suffolk Constabulary’s Multi-Agency

Safeguarding Hub (MASH), Heather Hunt of Bury

St Edmunds Women’s Aid; ; Sonal Shenai of

SafeLives; Victoria Green of Marie Collins

Foundation; Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and

Crime Commissioner and editor of this magazine,

Min Grob.

It was an excellent conference which addressed

important issues affecting all, but especially

young people.

Keep an eye on Dr Emma Bond’s team for more

innovative work on domestic abuse and


2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible

Photo: Gregg Brown

Please copy link into browser for Tom

Potter’s article on the conference.


2018 is the Year For Making The Invisible Visible

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