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January 3, 2016

The New Year.

Happy New Year to everyone who reads this.  As a new year starts, most of us are looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, as am I.  But the 4th January has always been a very busy but not so enjoyable day for me in my profession.  I don’t know how many of my fellow colleagues up and down the country would agree, but in my 20 years experience of working in the field of domestic abuse, the 4th of January has always been a date that many, many women finally find the courage to escape their abusive partner.  I do have a theory for this.  I feel that maybe it is because Christmas and New Year are times when they want their children/families to be happy.  Being that most women in abusive relationships feel a sense of responsibility, and also, although they shouldn’t, shame about what they have experienced, they do not want to upset anyone.  No time is a good time to leave an abusive relationship! but the festive year is definitely out of bounds!  The first ‘normal’ day after the festive period is usually the 4th of January and so I believe this is when women make the decision to leave.  All that has happened during the festive period, they suffer quietly for fear that their children and families happiness will be spoilt.  I’ve always found it very ironic that I, myself left my abusive relationship on the 4th of January – 28 years ago tomorrow!  For exactly the same reasons I have spoken of.  So I will return to work tomorrow with a heavy heart for what the day will bring but also with the knowledge that these women will be making the very important step of living without fear and I shall salute them, one and all.



  • 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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