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January 10, 2023

Intimate Terrorism.

I heard the expression, Intimate Terrorism, a few months ago. An interesting one isn’t it? When I first started out on my career in domestic abuse, I attended a training course called ‘Domestic Violence – Awareness & Practise’. This was way back in 1998 when we didn’t use the word ‘abuse’.

There were a couple of exercises on that day that have stuck with me throughout. One of them was this…

We were asked to call out to the trainer ways in which we thought prisoners of the Second World War, were treated. How they were tortured, both physically and mentally. The trainer wrote them on a flipchart. There were many examples. The examples, we all agreed were shocking and we all felt a sense of horror that prisoners of war could be treated in this way. She then moved on to the next part of the training. After lunch, she then asked us to call out ways in which perpetrators of domestic violence/abuse treated their partners. She wrote them all on a flipchart. Again, there were many examples. She then got out the piece of flipchart she had used when we had done the prisoner of war exercise in the morning. She stuck it on a wall, next to the exercise we had just completed on domestic violence/abuse.

You know what I am going to say don’t you?

They were identical! She then posed the question. Why are people so shocked and horrified at the treatment of prisoners of war, yet don’t feel the same way about the violence and abuse that people experience from a person who is known to them and who claims to love them!??

Let’s break the expression down.

If we google the words Intimate and Terrorism, this is what we commonly see written…

Intimate = Closely acquainted; familiar. Private and personal. Of a very personal and private nature.

Terrorism = The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians. The calculated use of violence to create a general climate of fear. To bring about a particular political objective.

Do you see the connection? If you subscribe to my blog, it means you have an interest in this issue, so you probably can see the connection, but how many people do you think actually think about this. I mean, really think about this?

The types of torture, violence, abuse, brain washing, and intimidation used in the act of terrorism are the very same tactics used by abusive people towards their partners. Do you think if people realised this, they may understand the dynamics and complexities of domestic violence and abuse better?!

Perhaps, in 2023, we could make more of an effort to educate others and raise awareness. Getting people to really understand is something we can all do.



  • I first met Sharon back in 2000 when I went into a refuge she worked in after fleeing a violent relationship. I had two babies and virtually just a bag of clothes and a few toys with us. She helped me with appointments with the police, solicitors and..

    A survivor of domestic abuse.
  • I was fortunate enough to meet and work with Sharon when she was the Advocacy Manager at Woman’s Trust and I was working for Westminster City Council. During this time Sharon developed and managed the Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy Service..

    Ainslie O’Connor – Principal Advisor for the Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Adelaide, Australia.
  • Thank you so much for all the support you have given me. You really have been amazing, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have been able to cope with Child Protection without you. The amount of strength you have given me is totally priceless, even with..

    A survivor of domestic abuse.
  • I knew Sharon as a work colleague over ten years ago. At the time, she was supporting vulnerable people, some of them were homeless due to domestic abuse and substance misuse. For me, assisting such people was what anyone in her role would be expect..

    Ted Chanza, Head of Market Operations, Airtel Malawi Ltd, Lilongwe, Malawi, Africa.
  • I have known Sharon for 6 years and have had the pleasure of working alongside her when I chaired the Westminster MARAC. Sharon is a committed, empathetic supporter of women who are or have experienced domestic abuse. She regularly goes the extra m..

    Former Chair of The Westminster MARAC.
  • I was fortunate to have had Sharon as my support worker after 17 years of domestic violence and 4 children that had witnessed and gone through it with me. I was finally strong enough to stand up and protect myself and my children. Without Sharon’s ..

    A survivor of domestic violence.
  • Without the support and constant reassurance of Sharon, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am forever grateful to her. She is extremely dedicated and knowledgeable, having her on my side when dealing with someone as persistent..

    Anonymous survivor of Domestic Abuse.
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