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December 28, 2015

The state of things to come.

With the latest news that Harrow Council are funding ‘couples work’ for cases where there has been domestic abuse, let us hope that they embark on this work with the utmost care. I feel that this is something a lot of local authorities will be doing in the pursuit of cutting down on their already limited resources.

It has long been the opinion of every trained domestic abuse practitioner, that this type of intervention is at best ill advised and at worst, extremely dangerous. If you ask any woman that has experienced domestic abuse whether this is what they would have wanted to do, they will react with horror!! Domestic abuse is not about couples disagreeing. It is about one person’s power and control over the other. This means that effectively, if you put these two people in a room with a therapist or similar, the person that is or has been abused will not feel able to say what they really want to say, for fear of repercussions later. And if that person does say what they want to say, they risk severe repercussions later! That takes away the purpose of couple intervention completely because the sessions are one sided.

I would really hope that this is taken into consideration and that as a bare minimum, both parties are fully risk assessed before a decision is made whether they are suitable for this work.

  • 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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