News from RtR

Children and Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs)

Our good friend and patron Frank Mullane has sent an interesting paper regarding children engaging in DHRs. As many will know, Frank is the reason we now review domestic homicides in the UK and he is very supportive of our work in bringing practitioners together as DA Champions. This report looks at what is recorded (or not) concerning the children's experiences before, during and after the death of a parent. Here is what Frank says:

First womand convicted for Coercive Control

Jordan Worth, (pictured), an aspiring teacher from Bedfordshire aged 22, has just been sentenced to seven and a half years imprisonment for Coercive Control and GBH with intent.

The court heard Worth and her partner, Alex Skeel, had met at college in 2012 when they were both 16, a relationship began and later they moved in together.

LGBT domestic abuse recorded by Manchester police

Greater Manchester police were the first UK force to record domestic abuse within the LGBT community and have just released their annual statistics. Our old friends at Broken Rainbow had been involved in the additional training of their officers.

Male victim of childhood DA opens up

Sir Patrick Stewart is a very well known figure on our screens and a superb actor. A few years ago he talked about his childhood experiences at the hands of a drunken father, whilst researching his family tree on the programme "Who do you think you are".

He has recently revisited this part of his life and stated how keen he is to keep children safe from violent perpetrators. It is interesting that he believes his father never abused him directly but seems to miss the fact that he was abused in having to experience what happened to his mother.

Interesting Conferences

Our friends at CCL have been busy putting together some interesting content into their upcoming conferences. Here are a few - link via their icon for more details:


Working with young people to address violence in teenage relationships

5 June at Conference Aston, Birmingham
£130 per delegate with group reductions available (click CCCL icon for more detail)

NCDV Comment on Legal Aid

Our friends at NCDV feature in a BBC article this week after they disclosed astonishing figures for victims refused Legal Aid:

News from the No Recourse Network

Many of us have had cases where victims trying to flee but have no recourse to public funds. Our good friends at NRPF Network who are based in Islington Council are a useful resource in such cases.

They have some news of recent changes to housing; here is what they say:

New services commissioned for Slough

Slough is changing the way it responds to domestic abuse and our domestic abuse champions in Slough are all a part of that response. Rachel, our Chief Champion in Slough has just released a Domestic Abuse Pathway document which advises on which direction cases should be signposted.

Message from Relate Oxfordshire

Life After the Break

Wednesday Evenings 6.30pm – 9.00pm Starting April 18th

The end of a relationship or marriage can be a difficult and painful experience.  It can leave people feeling confused, lonely and lacking in confidence. Feelings of betrayal, guilt or rejection are common.  Anger, sadness and confusion are often intense.  Moving forward can be hard when trust, self-confidence and self-esteem have been shaken.

News from AVA

AVAVacancy for Deputy Director

AVA is looking for a new Deputy Director to support us in the next stage of our development. You will work alongside our Director, Donna Covey, to provide leadership to the staff team.

Coercive Control from Agatha Christie in 1924

Agatha ChristieMy wife is a great Agatha Christie fan. Last week we went to the Oxford Playhouse to see Love from a Stranger which is just starting a UK tour.

I had presumed the play would entail a murderer being exposed at the end of some great plot. What astounded me as the play went on was that Christie sets the scene for a "whirlwind romance" amidst financial abuse, coercive control, misogyny, isolation from family and friends and monopolised perception of the poor woman — things that domestic abuse workers all understand nowadays.The play does also have a great story with a sting in the tale too, even though it is nearly a century old!

Christie clearly had great awareness of many tactics used by perpetrators of domestic abuse, long before any modern research and understanding. For me, hearing the male lead say "a woman's weakness is a man's opportunity" really summed up his character.

Vacancies at nia in London

Here are two vacancies with our friends at nia in London, who provide a wide range of services for women and children who have experienced sexual and domestic violence.

The organisation has three main aims:

  • to provide services for women, girls and children who have experienced men’s violence;
  • contributing to ending male violence against women and girls, and
  • to inform and influence policy and public awareness.

They are seeking to recruit to the following posts:

Words from a survivor and DA Champion

Whilst delivering our first day of training with a fresh new cohort of domestic abuse champions last week, we caused a hiccup for one person in the room. The first day concentrates on theories, statistics and the impact DA has on victims and children and can be difficult for those with first hand experience.

Katrina is a survivor of domestic abuse and came along to learn more about what she had been through and how multi agency training can help victims. She discovered that it still affected her more than she thought it would but, with some support, she completed the day. She spent that evening discussing it with her adult children and decided to put her feelings on paper. 

When she came back on the second morning she asked to read what she had written and we all listened intently. She delivered it with confidence and pride in the journey she has taken and we asked if we could publish it for all our visitors to read. She is one of many who inspire others and here is what she said:

Violent Resistor allowed to appeal

The GuardianThe following is an excerpt from an interesting article in the Guardian entitled "This Domestic Abuse Case Might Change the Way Women Live".

Last week, Sally Challen, who in 2011 had been convicted of her husband Richard’s murder and handed a 22-year sentence, was granted permission to appeal.

Sally – now 63, a mother of two, who’d been with Richard since the age of 15 – doesn’t deny that she bludgeoned him to death with a hammer, before driving to Beachy Head to kill herself. But what’s changed in the years she’s been in prison, is that the law now recognises that domestic violence can’t always be quantified simply in bruises and broken arms, but may also include “coercive control”, where it’s not just a person’s physical integrity that’s violated, but their human rights.

UK SAYS NO MORE week 2018

As you may know, UK SAYS NO MORE week is coming up from May 21-27, and is a time for us all to unite our efforts and make a real impact.

This year's theme is #WhatICanDo focusing on the impact which we can all make in our individual efforts to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence. By working together, we are at our most capable of creating change.

SafeLives Spotlight on the LGBT community

Our good friends at SafeLives produce a regular series of "Spotlights" focusing on groups of victims who may be 'hidden' from services or face additional barriers to accessing support. If you haven't checked them out before they are definitely worth a look. They've just released their sixth Spotlight, looking at Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender people.

They say:

Although huge strides towards equality have been made, LGBT+ communities still face additional barriers when accessing services, as well as experiencing discrimination in wider society.

We know that LGBT+ communities encompass a diverse range of people with very different identities and experiences, which is why we’ve tried to include as many different voices as we can. We’ll be exploring the different groups and intersections amongst LGBT+ people, and the different barriers they face when accessing services. We also want to hear from you: join the conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag #FreeToBeSafe.

Guide for professionals on registering to vote

The Electoral CommissionIn order to vote in UK elections, people need to make sure that they are registered to vote by providing some personal details to their local Electoral Registration Officer (ERO).

Some who have experienced domestic violence may miss out on voting because they are worried that perpetrators will be able to trace them by searching the electoral register for their new address.

A short guide has just been published. It was compiled by Women's Aid and the Electoral Commission, is aimed at professionals working with domestic violence survivors and tells you how you can support your clients to register to vote anonymously so that they can vote without their name and address appearing on the electoral register and can be sure that their personal details will be kept confidential.

"Who Can You Tell" resource pack for teachers on body rights

Oxford Against CuttingWe'd just like to remind anyone who works in a primary school about the toolkit produced by our friends at Oxford Against Cutting, which we featured briefly when it was launched last month. 

"Who Can You Tell?", a new film and resource pack, aims to help teachers talk to children about their body rights, safety and trusted adults and to help primary school children stay safe from sexual harm; it's aligned with the NSPCC PANTS campaign and supports learning on body rights and safety.

Stalking - best practice conference

Live Life Safe: Suzy Lamplugh TrustWe have news of a large event from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust: Learn more and book tickets from the SL Trust's website

Date: Monday April 16, 2018 12.00 - 17.00 (including lunch)

Location: Human Rights Action Centre, 25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA

Following their upcoming stalking research seminar in March, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust is hosting a conference in April to share their findings and have wider conversations on what organisations can do to address stalking. The conference will explore what the best practice and tools are in managing risks posed by perpetrators of stalking, and look at how organisations can improve their individual and multi-agency approach to support victims and manage perpetrators.

College of Policing prepare for harsher DA sentencing

College of PolicingDomestic abusers are to face harsher sentences. This is taken from the College of Policing website:

Tougher jail sentences await domestic abusers who use social media

Abuse using email, text messages, social networking sites and GPS trackers is being tackled

​Domestic abuse offenders found to be using technology such as text messages and social networks to harass victims could face tougher prison sentences under new guidelines introduced last month.

Officers and police staff are being advised that later this year courts across England and Wales will be using new guidance when issuing sentences for domestic violence cases.

Current guidance says offences committed in both domestic and non-domestic settings should be treated as being equally serious.

But under new guidelines, offences committed in a domestic setting will be treated as being more serious after it was acknowledged that domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident and is usually part of a longer term cycle of violence.

DV Assist gets new patron

Domestic Violence Assist (currently the UK’s only registered charity specialising in providing civil protection orders for both female and male survivors of domestic abuse) have announced that Nazir Afzal OBE, the former Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North-West who led the prosecution of the Rochdale grooming case and many other high profile cases, has been appointed as patron of the charity.

Researcher asking for help

We have received a request for help from a university student. We do feel it is important to support such research and would ask that you please respond, if you can help. Tiana Kooner is looking for participants who are policy and practice stakeholders and are prepared to be interviewed about their views on how LGBT domestic violence is being handled by the services and policies currently set out by the criminal justice system (full details below).


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