Survivor Story – Terry


I met Hayley on an online dating site and at first our relationship appeared idyllic she soon fell pregnant and we made plans to spend our lives together.

I found out soon after that she was an alcoholic in recovery and had four children who now lived with their father, her ex-husband after they had been removed from her care following a drunken suicide attempt.

Hayley’s behaviour became more controlling and manipulative as the months went by, she would checked my emails, text messages and Facebook account.

Hayley soon became violent towards me, she threw a laptop at me, destroyed another computer and threatened me repeatedly.

The worst part was that she abused my son as well, she would always feed him last and would slam his plate down in front of him at the dinner table, often refusing him desert. Once I had completed his ironing she would soak it with water again.

He witnessed her aggression, shouting, slamming doors at me and long periods of isolating behaviour where she would ignore us both for hours.

After our daughter was born she threw me out of the house telling family and friends endless lies about me being violent, using pornography and attempting to overdose. She had been heavily drinking throughout this time and despite everything I tried to fix our relationship.

 I couldn’t take it anymore and after five months I left. She accused me of being violent towards her and I was then only allowed to have supervised contact with my daughter.

I was never allowed to tell my side of the story.

For the past 14 months I have had sporadic contact with my daughter, Hayley still spreads lies and abuses me through the phone, text and email.

My life is getting better, slowly. The past three years have been hell but now I can see a future and will fight for custody of my son.

For more information on domestic abuse visit The Bigger Picture website


New law targets controlling partners and could see them jailed for five years

Perpetrators of psychological abuse could now face up to 5 years in prison as a change to the Serious Crimes Bill is implemented in the UK.

Previously victims only had six months to report the crime, after the change in the law they will now have two years.

Coercive or controlling behaviour is often seen as a continuous pattern of abuse with the aim to create fear and reduce the freedom of the victim.

The danger of this type of control is that it often starts with small things and could continue over years by which time the victim recognises the behaviour such as phone checking as perfectly normal.

Often the perptrator finds ways to isolate the victim by alienating friends and family over time, restricting financial freedom or lying in order to make the victim doubt themselves and their sanity.

Follow @BigPictureMMP or visit The Bigger Picture website for more information on Male victims of domestic abuse, Coercive control, the effects of abuse on children and Survivor stories.






Slideshow creation

To keep my audience interested on my BUZZ site I have created a small slideshow to go with some of the audio.

I created the images myself by drawing up posters to represent each element of domestic abuse. It doesn’t cover every form but gives the audience a visual representation of abuse to look at.

The Slideshow also has images from the Camden Safety Network who have run award-winning campaigns targeting domestic abuse.

So here it is…

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Cover your tracks online

This information has been used courtesy of Women’s Aid for more information on Domestic abuse and to hear survivors stories visit The Bigger Picture site.


Warning: if you are worried about someone knowing you have visited this website please read the following safety information. Click escape to leave the site.

How can an abuser discover your internet activities?

Please take a few minutes to read the warning below and to take steps to increase your safety when visiting this website.

As a rule, internet browsers will save certain information as you surf the internet. This includes images from websites visited, information entered into search engines and a trail (‘history’) that reveals the sites you have visited. Please follow the instructions below to minimize the chances of someone finding out that you have visited this website.

If you know what browser you are using, then skip to the relevant instructions below. If you do not know the type of browser you are using, click on Help on the toolbar at the top of the browser screen. A drop down menu will appear, the last entry will say About Internet Explorer, About Mozilla Firefox, or something similar. The entry refers to which browser type you are using – you should then refer to the relevant instructions below

Private browsing

All leading web browsers have a “private browsing” mode that, once enabled, stores nothing about your activity on your computer in that browsing window. This won’t stop online services from seeing what you get up to, but it won’t leave any traces of your activity on your computer (no history, web cache or anything else) and so it’s always a useful first step to take.

Internet Explorer: Go to Safety – Tools – “InPrivate Browsing”.

Firefox: Click the Menu button with three horizontal lines – “New Private Window”.

Chrome: Click the Menu button with three horizontal lines and select “New Incognito Window”.

Similar options can be found in Opera and Safari.

It is also best to double check that nothing has been stored by following the steps below.

Internet Explorer

Click on the Tools menu and select Internet Options. On the General page, under Temporary Internet Files, click on Delete Cookies and then OK. Click on Delete Files, put a tick in the box labelled Delete all offline content and click OK. Under History, click on Clear History and then OK. Now look at the top of the window and click on the Content tab, select AutoComplete and finally, Clear Forms.


Click on Tools and then Options, then click on Privacy. Click on the Clear button next to Cache and Saved Form Information.

Deleting your browsing history

Internet browsers also keep a record of all the web pages you visit. This is known as a ‘history’. To delete history for Internet Explorer and Firefox hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard, then press the H key (Crtl, Alt and H for Opera). Find any entries that say, right click and choose Delete.


If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing email messages, they may be printed and saved as evidence of this abuse. Any email you have previously sent will be stored in Sent Items. If you started an email but didn’t finish it, it might be in your Drafts folder. If you reply to any email, the original message will probably be in the body of the message – print and delete the email if you don’t want anyone to see your original message.

When you delete an item in any email program (Outlook Express, Outlook, etc) it does not really delete the item – it moves the item to a folder called Deleted Items. You have to delete the items in deleted items separately. Right click on items within the Deleted Items folder to delete individual items.


Toolbars such as Google, AOL and Yahoo keep a record of the search words you have typed into the toolbar search box. In order to erase all the search words you have typed in, you will need to check the individual instructions for each type of toolbar. For example, for the Google toolbar all you need to do is click on the Google icon, and choose “Clear Search History”.

Don’t forget to log out

If you use our Survivor’s Forum, don’t forget to log out of your account when you have finished your browsing session so no one else can log in as you.

Exit site button

The green Exit Site button on the left of the Women’s Aid website will quickly hide the page but you will still need to delete your history fully cover your tracks.

General security

If you do not use a password to log on to your computer, someone else will be able to access your email and track your internet usage. The safest way to find information on the internet, would be at a local library, a friend’s house, or at work.

All of the above information may not completely hide your tracks. Many browser types have features that display recently visited sites. The safest way to find information on the internet, would be at a local library, a friend’s house, or at work.

“You can block a punch but you can’t stop them saying something nasty and vulgar.”

Warning: This post contains graphic accounts of  domestic abuse

Matt’s Story…

“The mental side of things started just as part of every day life, comments started about my weight, she told me that I looked horrible in certain clothes and that I needed to go to the gym.

When she had alcohol she lost all inhibition, she didn’t care about what people thought of her. That’s when the violent side of things came into it. She never did it in front of people…

…it was always behind closed doors.

I wouldn’t have told my friends anyway, its not that its embarrassing it just makes you feel less of a person. I didn’t want to hear the ‘just hit her back’ comments, because that was not the way I have been brought up.

It came to a head on boxing day last year, because she had drunk an obscene amount of alcohol. She saw an innocent text on my phone and just went crazy.

Her eyes were black and she went absolutely crazy.

She went into the worst flurry of attacks I have ever seen. In the times before it had been a hand around the throat or she would punch me but this time was so much worse. During the attack I almost lost my testicles, she tried to rip them off.

I couldn’t calm her down and nor could anyone else that witnessed the attack. This ultimately led to a guilty conviction.

Definitely the mental side is worse. If you have the odd bruise on your body or your face you can cover it up but the mental side and the control is constant.

It destroys you as a person, it shatters you. I was depressed and at an all time low and it makes you less trusting of people, especially girls.

Luckily I had a platform where I could speak out about it and hopefully it will make a difference.”

Matt was interviewed for TheBiggerPicture project, I will be using his story as part of a radio package about Male victims of abuse click to hear from more survivors.

Blue is for boys, Pink is for Girls.

sally stats
Male Breast cancer Info Graphic – Sally Fish MMP 14-15


This info graphic was created by Sally Fish as she investigated male breast cancer and the stigma and medical uncertainty surrounding the issue.

When I was writing my article for TheBiggerPicture domestic violence project I looked to her work for some inspiration with regards to Info Graphics and layouts.

I went to create my Info Graphic using Infogra.m in a similar way that she had done, using blue for male and pink for females. It was an automatic choice, one I had been brought up with and still recognize now as gender based colours.

This is the damaging effect of gender inequality. My desire to identify each sex with a specific colour is only one of many ways society segregates males and females and put them in opposite corners.

Having realised this I decided to colour my Info Graphic using only black and white, the dots look exactly the same until you scroll over them and the data shows you how many people are affected by domestic violence everyday.

Victims of domestic abuse have the same feelings of helplessness and humiliation, the same urge to put up with it in order to protect their children, the same hope that the violence will stop, the same silent scream as they are bullied and threatened. This happens regardless of gender.

Domestic abuse does not have a colour. Look for The Bigger Picture.


Domestic Abuse Poll


Paul’s Story


“She used my child against me, that was the worst part. She asked my daughter whether or not she would like a new dad.

I stayed in the relationship for over 10 years for the sake of my daughter.

It will affect her relationships in the future but when she has issues we will deal with them together, as a family.”

This is the story of Paul Chivers, I interviewed him last week about the effects Domestic Abuse have had on him and his daughter. He was helped by family, friends and charity Mankind to escape from his toxic marriage.

I will be using his story within the main part of my The Bigger Picture project, a radio package which will raise awareness of male victims of abuse.

Visit The Bigger Picture project for more information on male victims, the effects of abuse on children and to hear more from Paul and other Survivors. Follow the project on twitter @BigPictureMMP



Educate Young people


Domestic abuse affects over 2.1 million people across the UK according to the charity Safe Lives. As the number grows, the average age of abuse victims is decreasing and around 130,000 children in the UK live in homes where there is high-risk domestic abuse.

The cycle of abuse starts early, “Some children are witnessing abuse from such a young age that they believe it is normal. Especially with boys, as they grow older the abusive behaviour is usually directed at Mum and then projected onto partners as they start having relationships in their teenage years. The cycle is extremely dangerous and needs to be stopped earlier by giving children healthy relationship education in schools,”Vicky Walsh, Sussed Bournemouth.

Sussed is a project that helps young people in Bournemouth with any issue they may have whether that is bullying, eating disorders, relationship advice or how to get help if their are experiencing or displaying abusive behaviour. In recent years many campaigns to stop abuse have been aimed at younger people using viral ads and video content.

Vicky added, “I think that teenagers respond well to video content and visual stimulus. The messages within the videos are real and get straight to the point, that is what they need.”

Camden safety network ran a campaign called ‘Know this isn’t love’ in order to educate young people about the signs of abuse in relationships. Rose Parker from the network explains that, ‘Campaigns like that are really important as young people tend not to self refer. So if we can get the information to them on a platform that they can access on their own and talk to friends about then its a better way for them to be educated.’

One Love #ThatsNotLove campaignthats not love 2

Government campaign, This is abuse. 

government this is abuse campaign

Camden safety network, Know this isn’t love

this is abuse

For more information about domestic abuse, male victims, coercive control, the effects on children and survivor stories visit The Bigger Picture.




Help and advice: know the signs

(WARNING: This post contains descriptions of abuse, click here to escape this page)


England: Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline:
0808 2000 247 (run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge)

Northern Ireland Women’s Aid: 0800 917 1414

Scottish Domestic Abuse: 0800 027 1234

Wales Domestic Abuse: 0808 80 10 800

Dyn Wales/Dyn Cymru: 0808 801 0321

Mankind Initiative: 01823 334244

Broken Rainbow: 08452 604460 (national help line for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans people experiencing domestic abuse)

Forced Marriage Unit: 0207 008 0151


Women’s aid



Know the signs:

Are you being hurt physically?

Slaps, Kicks, Blows, Shaking, Strangulation, Hair Pulling, Burns etc.

Are you scared? threatened or bullied by your partner or family member?

Do you find yourself “walking on egg shells” when you are around them?

Do they destroy or damage property?

Do they put you down? isolate you? threaten you? or harass you such as nasty phone calls or stalking?

Do they threaten to take your children away from you?

Do they belittle or humiliate you in front of your children?

Are you ever forced to have sex, hurt sexually, or asked to do sexual acts that you don’t want to do?

Are you threatened with harm if you were to ever leave?

These are signs of abuse.