Lucy’s Update

I cannot believe that I am sitting here writing the introduction for our December Newsletter! Where has the year gone?

November has been incredibly busy with both Safeguarding Adults Week and the 16 Days of Action.  I spoke at Essex Partnership University Trust for Safeguarding Adults week and at the NCDV Conference during the 16 days of Action alongside our Client and Community Caseworker, Julie Bell.

lucy opening

The latest data from the Office of National Statistics has been released and I have been working through all of our training resources to incorporate those updates.  There were 1.5 million domestic abuse incidents recorded across England and Wales in Year End 2022 which is an increase from the previous year.  Please do join us for any public training sessions from January when all the new data will have been updated into our sessions.

For Victims of Domestic Abuse, often Christmas isn’t a great time of year.  It’s a time of reflection as well as danger and that brings a number of different feelings and risks to the fore.  I have produced a short blog on Domestic Abuse and Christmas and to let you know my heart goes out to all of those impacted at this time of year: Please know that you are not alone. 

Our Breaking the Cycle Programme continues to deliver weekly online Community Drop-Ins for our DWP Clients in Essex.  This is proving to be a lifeline for the attendees and I have to thank our wonderful team for that.  

Additional funding into 2024, now means we can appoint 2 new permanent but part-time members of the team!  Sue Potter, who re-joins the team as our ‘Learning and Development Manager’ and Karen Phillips as our ‘Senior Trainer and Community Caseworker’.   Karen will be taking over some of our public training sessions from February and both ladies have been with me and Alpha Vesta right from the start as volunteers and then in temporary roles.  I’m incredibly proud of our team and what we have achieved this year.  

We look forward to seeing you in 2023!

Best wishes
Lucy Whittaker

Lucy Whittaker

Founding Director and Lead Trainer of Alpha Vesta CIC

Domestic Abuse in the News – links

In our ‘Domestic Abuse in the News’ section, I have highlighted an investigation by the UN around Parental Alienation.  Despite the UN basing their investigations within the ‘Violence against Women and Girls’ remit, the organisation Shared Parenting, Scotland, quotes ‘we know of both fathers and mothers in Scotland who have been rejected in this manner’. It’s an interesting article which will prompt lots of debate. 

UN to investigate use of ‘parental alienation’ tactic in custody cases | Global development | The Guardian 

The second article highlights the first successful prosecution for ‘non-fatal strangulation’ in Leicestershire.  This was new legislation that came out as part of the Domestic Abuse Act, 2021. 

Another interesting read despite some graphic details about the violence experienced. It’s good to see this new legislation being effectively used to prosecute offenders. 

Domestic abuse victim thought she would die at hands of partner in horrendous attack – Leicestershire Live (

I’m also highlighting a really excellent article written by HR Magazine on the ‘Responsibilities of an Employer’ around domestic abuse which gives some proactive advice from an HR stance on the response to domestic abuse within the Workplace.

HR Magazine – Domestic abuse: what are your responsibilities as an employer?

Dates for the Diary

Core 5: (Advanced) Understanding Risk Support & Safety Planning

Core 5: (Advanced) Understanding Risk Support & Safety Planning

11 January 2023

Click on the above link to access the Eventbrite link to book your place 

Male Culture & Domestic Abuse

Male Culture & Domestic Abuse

2 February 2023

Click on the above link to access the Eventbrite link to book your place.

50 extra places added

Enhanced Core 3: Developing a Workplace Response to Domestic Abuse

Enhanced Core 3: Developing a Workplace Response to Domestic Abuse

22 February 2023

Click on the above link to access the Eventbrite link to book your place 

National Support & Help

National 24hr Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247 For women and children experiencing domestic abuse

Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327 For men experiencing domestic abuse

RESPECT 0808 802 4040 For those concerned that they may be using abusive behaviours

NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000 If you are concerned about a child

Samaritans 116 123 For those struggling in terms of their mental health and feeling in crisis

NCDV 0800 970 2070 free, fast emergency injunction service for survivors of domestic abuse

Essex Regional Support & Help

Alpha Vesta 01245 791281 For employers and employees concerned about a staff member

Compass 0330 333 7 444 Compass is being delivered by a consortium of established domestic abuse support agencies including; Safe Steps, Changing Pathways and The Next Chapter. The aim is to provide a single point of access for callers to speak with a trained member of staff who will complete an assessment and ensure contact is made with the most appropriate support service.

The Change Project 01245 258 680 Committed to preventing conflict in relationships and working with both perpetrators, victims and their children.

CPD Provider
Lottery Community Fund
brentwood Chamber
Essex Partnership
Police, fire and crime commissioner for essex
Essex Community Foundation

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