Lucy’s Update

Welcome to our September Newsletter – The Team and I have taken a well deserved break over the summer and are now ready to re-start our public training program. Just as a reminder, I have shared an overview of our three CPD accredited training pathways so you can identify any sessions you have yet to complete. If you would like to confirm your training record with us, please do not hesitate to contact us at


Back in June I had the pleasure of joining Essex Police for their Stalking Event where I presented a session entitled ‘Disruption, Sabotage and Risk’ which looked at the impact of domestic abuse and stalking on the workplace and on employment. I was able to share the importance of reaching those that have experienced domestic abuse at an earlier point in their journey and how employers have incredible value in providing a robust workplace response to domestic abuse and its related stalking. It is as simple as when employers recognise their value and take appropriate action, it really can save lives. This response is embedded in Health and Safety Legislation which incorporates a duty of care to all employees.

Shockingly 1/3 of survivors of domestic abuse go on to experience post-separation stalking and many of these end up leaving employment due to the stress and relentless harassing behaviour they experience. This may be the perpetrator making malicious calls to their workplace, loitering around their workplace premises, attempting to collude with their boss or work colleagues, relentless phone calls, text messages and emails throughout the day, as well as the sabotage of their credibility and reputation.

It was wonderful to chat to the attendees during the coffee and lunch breaks, where lots of insight was shared and important connections and conversations had. It was a privilege to chat to Dr. Sue Hills, the mother of Alice Ruggles about the family’s experience as well as that of Alice’s work colleagues and friends in the build up to the horrific murder of Alice.

Alice Ruggles
Lucy Whittaker

Since the Alice Ruggles Trust was established, it has been doing all it can to raise public awareness of the dangers of stalking, particularly among young people. I am a firm believer in their approach that by engaging, empowering and educating we are equipping a generation with the confidence to recognise the the signs of abuse and to build a society that reacts in the right way when those experience abuse seek help.

Best regards

Lucy Whittaker

Founding Director and Lead Trainer of Alpha Vesta CIC

Community Advocate Update

We continue to build our network of Community Advocates and earlier this week we held our first domestic awareness training session focussed on the retail and hospitality sector. Our Community Advocates at The Lounge Wine Bar, Ingatestone, were brilliantly engaged and could see their valuable role in breaking the cycle of domestic abuse across the community through our simple Recognise, Respond and Refer Model. Their investment is reflected in their commitment to raising awareness of domestic abuse and offering the local community a safe space to seek support and signposting to specialist services. To learn more about our training offering and Community Advocate Scheme; which is fully-funded by Essex Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, please email us


Alpha Vesta Team

Dates for the Diary

New dates are continually being added to our Eventbrite page which you can follow here

 Enhanced Core 4: Impact of Domestic Abuse on Children & Young People - Extra Familial Harm

Enhanced Core 4: Impact of Domestic Abuse on Children & Young People - Extra Familial Harm

Monday 18 September, 10am – 12pm

Advanced: Understanding Risk Support & Safety Planning

Advanced: Understanding Risk Support & Safety Planning

Monday 2 October, 1pm-4pm

Male Culture & Domestic Abuse Webinar

Male Culture & Domestic Abuse Webinar

Thursday 23 November 10am-11.30am

Tuesday 5 December 2pm-3.30pm

Domestic Abuse in the News – links

‘Making a difference in people’s lives’: 1000 domestic abuse reports made via video tool | Essex Police

More than 1,000 reports from victims were taken over video call by specially-trained since March 2023, providing stronger evidence for cases of domestic abuse. The process, called Rapid Video Response (RVR), is a victim-focused investigative tool which provides another way for domestic abuse victims to report an incident – without having to come to a police station or have officers visit their home in a marked police car. Victims supported by the team have said they appreciated having someone to speak to so quickly, not being rushed on the call, and having the option to speak at home without attending a police station, which can often feel intimidating.

Domestic abusers tagged on release and blocked from harassing victims from prison – GOV.UK

Government press release on the piloting of ‘tagging’ offenders of DA who may pose a risk on their release to their victim and/or children. This was something that was introduced in the DA Act, 2021 so good to see things now moving forward with this pilot.

Antony: Manchester United say they are ‘taking seriously’ allegations of domestic abuse made against forward | Football News | Sky Sports

Manchester United are “taking seriously” allegations of domestic abuse made against forward Antony which is encouraging to see. Whatever the outcome of Manchester Police enquiries, this is a lesson to those that hold footballers in enormous high esteem that domestic abuse will not be tolerated.

Long-term Impact Feedback Survey

It is important for us to continue to develop robust training which is meaningful to people from a variety of different sectors and communities. We are very grateful to all of you that take the time to complete the short questionnaire that is shared after each of our sessions.

However, it is also important to us to understand the long lasting impact of our training and how this learning is being used within the workplace and community. Therefore, for those that have completed the training within the last 6 months please can we ask you to complete this short survey link:

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.

Alpha Vesta’s Collated National & Regional Support Services

click here to access document

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

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