Lunch and Learn


 Northumbria University Dec 2022

You are so courageous

As always, thanks Rachel for an insightful, heart-breaking account

Thank you so much for sharing your story

Thank you for sharing, very emotional and powerful story

100% agree with Rima, the ongoing control is so difficult to live with

Firstly, thank you for your presentation!
I am a current PhD student researching DA in both the criminal and family courts. You spoke about the need for an overhaul of the family courts and some of the horrendous comments made by judges in previous cases.
Part of my research is the discussing the potential for implementing specialist integrated domestic abuse courts throughout England and Wales where a survivor’s case would be overseen by the same judge and team throughout the whole process. Do you think this would be beneficial to survivors? And do you think it would make the system easier to understand and navigate?
Thank you

I mourn the loss of Public Service adverts we had in the past – this would make an excellent one. Perhaps you could contrive to have them resurrected for important messages such as these

The ordeal never ends … well done seems so little. What an amazing thing to share, so insightful

Very powerful.

I’d like to thank you for all the work you are doing; my Mum is a DV survivor, and the perpetrator really had such a horrific impact on our family and the difference I know you’re making to victims and their families by doing this work is just incredible!

Domestic violence/abuse was a daily concern working as a Health Visitor in a busy inner city area of Newcastle. It is a timescale that is impacting so much on our young generation. As an academic I feel it is my responsibility to ensure that students are aware of domestic abuse and not being afraid to ask questions safely.

Thank you! You’re amazing

Thank you so much, you’re an exceptional person.

You are an inspiration – thank you so very much.

Thank you so much!

Thanks Rachel and to Sharon for organising

An inspirational story and incredibly powerful. many thanks to Rachel for sharing her story about a subject area I didn’t know much about before. thanks again

Thank you so much, a really beneficial session

Thank you so much!

Thank you so much, Rachel, for everything.

Thank you, you are amazing

Thank you, Rachel – your book helped me learn and realise what I experienced was coercive control. He isn’t in my life anymore

Thank you so much for sharing, Rachel. You’re such an inspirational. I will email you as I would like to help out.

Thank you, you’re amazing for turning such a negative into a positive to help others

Thank you so much

Thank you, a powerful presentation, about YOU.

Thank you

Thank you for sharing your empowering story

Dear Rachel,
I am the Head of Profession for Public Protection within the Metropolitan Police Service. Thank you very much for presenting at our Domestic Abuse Conference on Thursday 6th October 2022 at New Scotland Yard. The purpose of this letter is to pass on my gratitude and appreciation for the assistance you provided in making
these extremely successful sessions.
Your presentation provided an opportunity for the sharing of best practice, and I particularly thank you for sharing your lived experience of these awful crimes. You helped to highlight how we as police officers can work with partner agencies to help tackle domestic abuse in all of its various forms. Such events deliver direct
operational benefits, as well as being both interesting and informative.
Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your time and effort in helping this organisation to grow. It is much appreciated.

NHS – North West Lunch & Learn Session 12th January 2022

Sara (CHESHIRE AND WIRRAL PARTNERSHIP NHS FOUNDATION TRUST)13:01 Without doubt the most powerful training I have attended. Your video would be an excellent ‘think family ‘ training resource. Thank you.

As a third year student midwife, this session has been amazing and insightful for development of my future practise, so thank you so much.

Ruth (CHESHIRE AND WIRRAL PARTNERSHIP NHS FOUNDATION TRUST)13:04 Thank you, Rachel .It has emphasised the importance of asking the question .Very powerful

Paul (SOUTHPORT AND ORMSKIRK HOSPITAL NHS TRUST)13:05 Where do you get your strength, such an icon, thanks so much.

Jenny Thank you for an amazing session, so thought provoking, do you have any resources that we can use to display in our staff room, and could we use your presentation for staff training??

Melanie-Anne (ANSDELL MEDICAL CENTRE) You are such an inspiration – Thank you for sharing your story 🙂

Amanda (R0A) Manchester University NHS Thank you so much for sharing your experience and raising awareness. For reassurance midwives at my trust undertake routine enquiry several times during a pregnancy and I will share my experience of this training session to encourage others to attend in future as it has been so powerful and reinforces the importance of routine enquiry

Rachel (Guest)13:07 Thank you for an informative presentation. If there are any slides a lot info, I would like it sent to me if possible. Thank you

Maria Excellent session, you are a brave inspiring lady

Debbie (THE WALTON CENTRE NHS FOUNDATION TRUST) Thank you. Your strength and resolve is inspirational Rachel

Helen (SUNVALLEY MEDICAL PRACTICE) Thank you ….it has been very insightful

Ffion Thank you for this session, really informative and inspiring

Jennifer Thanks so much, this has been really helpful and informative.

Katie Thank you so much this was so inspiring

Paul (SOUTHPORT AND ORMSKIRK HOSPITAL NHS TRUST) Thank you so much for this insight. God bless and take care

Shonagh Thank you so much

Jenny Thanks very much, excellent session. It is amazing to see the positive that has come from your dreadful experiences.

Michelle Thank you for sharing your inspirational journey. Excellent presentation. Kind regards Michelle.


Udayanthi (SOUTHPORT AND ORMSKIRK HOSPITAL NHS TRUST)13:17 Thank you and congratulations for how you’ve converted a negative experience to such a positive one

Suhal Thank you

Simmy Thank you so much!

Top 100 Feedback – February 2020

As a police officer I have listened to many many accounts of DA and the failings of the authorities. Rachel was so passionate, and this presentation was equally sad to others I have heard. Talking to non-police they got much more from it than I did. Well done Rachel for being so brave and for fighting this awful crime as well as raising awareness.

How do we make the connections to support

Great stuff. Really powerful to listen to people tell their own stories. Please pass on my thanks to them for a really thought provoking session

Really powerful session.

What a privilege -very uncomfortable stuff

I thought this was a really worthwhile input. It really emphasised how the system doesn’t work. I will take back to my organisation as we think we tackle domestic violence well, however Rachel’s tragic story highlighted the missed opportunities by different agencies.

Very powerful

Massively impactful. We must use stories and stats

Wow! A case study that clearly provides the need for systems learning.

Inspirational and current session well pitched and delivered, that stirred personal and professional thinking around responsibilities as a public leader. Outstanding.

Very powerful – emphasis on the voice of the survivor is often missed

The learning for organisations was evident- asked the right questions – professional judgement v process

Humbling and inspirational.

Very brave, humbling and thought provoking.

Very, very powerful. Impressive and impactful. Stressed need to better understand but in a way that sets ‘normal’. To be honest still computing it all.

Amazing privilege to hear Rachel’s story.

Very impactful – distressing and rightly so

(Delegates were made up of professionals from across the board, Home Office employees, Police Officers etc)
NHS England (NW Region)

Fantastic presentation covering a difficult subject.

Thank you Rachel such a powerful presentation and amazing the support you are giving to others

Thankyou Rachel for sharing your story

A very informative session, good to have some statistics and links for information.

Powerful story, thank you for sharing.

Really useful due to how informative this is from such a personal perspective. thank you for this session.

Such a powerful session. What an amazingly brave inspirational lady. Thank You.

I thought the importance of the language placed on the victim opposed to the perpetrator was really enlightening and a change i’ll make sure I do & will highlight this to my colleagues. thank you so much for a very powerful and moving presentation.

This is by far the best training i have ever had on domestic violence. So much more impacting listen to somebody who has experienced this themselves. You are inspirational

Very powerful and very informative session. Amazing person and survivor. Thank you so much for all the knowledge I have learnt today.x

This has been the most valuable training I have had. Thank you so much.

Thank you Rachel sharing you story, you have certainly enhanced my knowledge and awareness, I would like to gain further knowledge going forward.

Excellent training very well delivered. thankyou for sharing your personal experiences. very powerful and informative.

Hello Rachel . Thanks so much for your powerful , thought provoking presentation. The NHS innovation agency North west coast are working on stroke prevention pathways. I’m wondering if its worth linking in with them re what you were saying about the increase risk of strokes ?

What an amazing and informative session! You truly are an inspiration and this has been the best domestic violence training I have received. Thank you so much Rachel for sharing your story!!

I learnt stuff I never knew previously and yes it is important about our use of language – it’s has really made me think about how I document.

Thank you for sharing your story, Rachel. You are so inspirational. I follow your Facebook page and that really empowers me to keep being strong and use my own experience as a positive to help others in my care who are experiencing similar situations.

This has been a powerful training session. How we record information and communicate does need much more consideration.

Thanks Rachel, this session has been powerful and informative. You are inspirational

This was absolutely amazing and really emphasises that the violence is usually the tip of the iceberg, so much damage is done before the abuse becomes violent, and that is often the most damaging

Thank you for sharing, such a brave lady containue what you doing…god bless

Thank you that was powerful and inspirational

This was a really powerful session, thank you for sharing your story in order to help us to help others. The part on language has certainly changed my way of thinking.

Fabulous Presentation Rachel , your an inspiration , an amazing advocate , great learning for me which i can pass on . thank you.

I have to leave now, but thank you Rachel for all that you do. It’s so important to change the language that is used.

This has been thoughtfully delivered and is really informative – a great boost to knowledge and will inform future practice Thankyou

Fantastic to see how wide your support is across many systems – really informative session.

Great presentation Rachel, thank you

Really enjoy this course thank you and will pass this on to all my staff team

So much learning within this presentation from so many angles. Hugely informative to many professional groups.

Thank you so much for this, incredible training that has really opened my eyes to the extent of this situation

Thank you for sharing your story and your passion for making a difference shines through. Lots of things to think about particularly the language used when reporting domestic abuse

Thank you so much for this inspirational presentation..very informative session…what a journey you have been on

Great session, plain speaking and it gets the message across.

Amazing – thank you

So much respect for you. Thank you for everything you are doing!

Thank you truly inspirational, lots to think about

So inspirational and thought provoking. Thank you Rachel

Hello Rachel and a huge thank you for your presentation and the honesty and openness you have displayed. This has been a very powerful session and I have gone away with lots of things to think through

Thank you for this fab session and for your openness and great insight you have given

You are so inspirational, and this has been such amazing training – there is no voice louder than that of a person who shares their own ‘lived experience’.

Thank you, Rachel, it really hit home. I share your passion and respect you for what you now do. great example of how to take a negative and turn i into a positive, well done x

“such an eye opener thank you and bye for now….”

Feedback from Wirral Council

Rachel’s session was extremely powerful and I like her use of materials – video etc – albeit that they were very harrowing. Rachel came across as a wonderful advocate for her area, confident, knowledgeable of the whole subject not just as an expert by experience, she really made me want to do something positive, which can be tricky when we have so many areas to tackle and competing for our attention. It was a great session.

Very powerful

Incredibly fortunate to hear her personal story

Left us all with lots of think about

For us as an RMB we need to/action the so what/what next i.e. we heard her powerful story and then went onto the next session so some time to reflect on what she said and what actions we might take in response would have been helpful.

I found Rachel’s session excellent, really engaging. Though, I wonder about the relevance of it to RMB, perhaps if we’d had more time to discuss afterwards and think about what we might do differently in consideration of it?

Afternoon Rachel.

I just wanted to give this feedback for what it’s worth . One of the teams listening today is my new team at Preston many of whom are young in service and many of whom are young people. It is hard sometimes were officers have not had those particular life experiences to connect with a victim of domestic abuse and as you no doubt know it is difficult when our victim has those walls up to try and break-through. I only joined this team 10 weeks ago having previously been in a role within the NCRS arena looking at crime recording. I myself also felt the impact of your presentation having been non-operational for a couple of years looking at forms and data but not the person at the centre of it.

The officers you have presented to will have hugely benefitted from hearing your experience and will undoubtedly resonate with them when they are next sat there at 3am with a repeat victim who doesn’t want to tell us anything and will make cops think about that extra mile or extra level of detail.

It ties in nicely also with a piece of work I was involved in and is still ongoing today around domestic behaviour crimes including controlling coercive behaviour and stalking with reference to the importance of accurately recording what the victim has been through and mapping out the terrifying behaviours of the offender.

I thought it was brave but really important to shout out about the men/woman statistics as we can’t pretend it isn’t real! Also on the stalking front before I left the crime data integrity team it was refreshing to see some clarity from the home office about harassment. Where a victim of domestic abuse is the victim of harassment then it must now always be recorded as STALKING unless it has authority from the force crime registrar.

The explanation we delivered to front line cops is that if the offender is an ex-partner then they are showing that they are Fixated, Obsessed, the contact is Unwanted and it is Repetitive, (F.O.U.R) and therefore stalking.

I think what you said about empathy is really important too as not only does it help break down the barriers but believe it also in stills come confidence in us and proves the officer is LISTENING. This is something that doesn’t come naturally for all unfortunately.

I will be talking about this input on our briefing tomorrow to see how they all felt.

From me it is a massive thank you and will do the feedback form shortly. Training can be very front loaded and difficult to recall but this was very thought provoking, emotive and impactive.

Many thanks

Sergeant XXXX

Good afternoon Sarg, I have just been in the domestic abuse input with Rachel and being a student who has just come out of the block one training, would it be possible to pop a suggestion over? I have been a victim myself of domestic violence around 4 years ago, and thankful managed to leave. However, I feel Rachel’s input would be great to have in the block 1 training for new recruits – to give an insight for those who have never been around/or seen or even known anyone to suffer from being a victim of domestic abuse. I have spoken to a few of my colleagues who I have just come out of training with, and all agreed it would be somewhat beneficial to have. Not sure if it’s possible but that would be my personal suggestion. Sergeant XXXX
I am a Lancashire Constabulary police officer and I was listening to your talk you gave today. I just wanted to say that it was really impactive. Hearing your story was both upsetting, when you talked about what you had been through. But it was also amazing to hear what amazing work you have done since. We have a lot of training in my role and I would say listening to your story really was one of the best training sessions we have done and I’m sure everyone will take something positive away from it when dealing with any domestic incident. I couldn’t help but become emotional listening to your story. Anyway just thought I would pass on my feedback.

Feedback from some attendees at Public Health Wales – Lunch & Learn

Wednesday 2nd December 2021

TC (Public Health Wales – No. 2 Capital Quarter)

Thanks so very much Rachel, you are so courageous and making such a difference for people. I have to drop off but want to say an enormous thank you.

SW (Public Health Wales – Microbiology)

It’s an example of the patriarchy. I wish men would challenge other men.

KS (NHS Wales Health Collaborative)

Really informative regarding the statistics around the awful figures of women who have suffered this, and it’s good to know there is some support out there, which could be improved but is there any statistics around violence towards men, I appreciate it is rarer, but it does happen. What support is offered to men who are suffering this?

SW (Public Health Wales – Microbiology)

I bet you’re both told this a lot, but I cant not say it…you are both wonderful women, and no doubt other women will be grateful for the work you do. I will try and amplify your voices. Thank you.

RT (Public Health Wales – No2. Capital Quarter)

I’m totally blown away by both of you and your courage and strength.

HJ (Public Health Wales – Microbiology Carmarthen

Thank you both so much for sharing your stories.

FS (Public Health Wales – No. 2 Capital Quarter)

Thank you both so much, you are both astounding. What can people do to help spot the signs in those cases where the typical red flags aren’t present, and the abuse is very well hidden? and what should you do if you suspect someone you know is being abused?

From sexual assault services in Wales,

thank you both – for your bravery and determination in your campaign to highlight the distressing and harrowing effects. I am struggling for words, so I’ll settle for thank you for sharing and thank you for your amazing ongoing work in domestic abuse

RCN Wales conference – ‘Domestic Abuse: Tackling Difficult Conversations’

On behalf of RCN Wales, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak at the RCN Wales Domestic Abuse Conference: Tackling Difficult Conversations, on 25 November 2021. We are very fortunate to have had you share your personal experiences and someone of your professional expertise and credentials address the delegates and contribute to the programme. Your presentation was very well-received and the evaluation from participants has been very positive, a couple of the comments we have already received are:

“Thoroughly enjoyed this session. Great speakers and presentations. I definitely learned a lot.”
“Excellent event with inspirational speakers”
It has been a pleasure working with you, and we look forward to working with you in future learning endeavours.

Thank you once again.

Kind regards

Yours sincerely