Call it by it’s proper name!

Today I was talking to Mark Groves, CEO for NCDV, about something I have always felt pretty strongly about and I thought I would turn it into a blog!

Following the sad news of the 26-year-old woman and her 9-year-old son, who were found murdered in Louth, Lincolnshire, on the 31st May 2021, I was yet again left feeling very frustrated at the lack of clarity into what this murder was!  It was domestic abuse related – a Domestic Homicide.  I knew that even before the media said that it was the woman’s ex-partner.  How did I know that?  Because I read articles like this every day.

To those of us that work in the field of domestic abuse and violence, we can read between the lines of these articles and know that these are yet more women and children that have lost their lives to violent and abusive partners and ex partners.  But it is not us that need to know!  It is the general public – and the media generally do a poor job of cultivating an understanding of domestic abuse and violence among the public.

The media calls such an incident a ‘murder’ or a ‘fatal assault’ or ‘stabbing ‘– alongside suitable adjectives such as ‘horror’ or ‘sick’ and the like and without any reference to the context.  If the perpetrator is not found immediately the public may be exhorted to look out for – and avoid – a man who is armed and dangerous.

‘Murder’ of course could equally well refer to a terrorist incident, the result of an armed break-in or a contract killing.

All the while, the main reason for, the main cause of, these particular tragedies is wholly ignored.

NCDV’s mission is to make domestic abuse and violence socially unacceptable.  But, how can we begin to do that when it could be argued that the way in which the media represents domestic abuse constitutes a patriarchal ideology, which skews the issue of domestic abuse and the underlying societal norms that this creates.

Why are the words ‘domestic abuse’ not used in the media when reporting on women and children that are murdered by ex-partners?

Surely, to truly raise awareness of male violence against women, it needs to be named.  To most of the population, domestic abuse is still something that happens to other people, never to them or to their families or friends, so they don’t need to think about it!  If the media were to include these two words in their articles about women that have been murdered by their partners and/or their ex-partners, the general public would be reading these words on average twice a week as we know that on average 2 women a week are killed in the UK by their partners or former partners, although this figure has been higher during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

Of course, this is not just a problem in the UK.  Domestic abuse is reported in very different ways in many other countries.  ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) have very good editorial guidance around the ‘do’s and don’ts’ when reporting on domestic abuse – – such as…

  • Name it! Use clear language that names the abuse for what it is.
  • Use active language that doesn’t reduce the severity of the offence – for instance, ‘man assaults wife’ instead of ‘woman assaulted’.
  • Include support details at the end of every story where practicable.

The media can play a vital role in the prevention of men’s violence against women, but not without paying particular attention to the way in which it represents the issue.  Domestic abuse is not a random, isolated act of violence or abuse.  It is a misuse of power and a pattern of abusive and controlling behavior, and the failure to frame an incident of domestic abuse as the systemic issue that it is, can lead to the seriousness of the issue being distorted and watered down.  Journalists and editors need to be more aware of the complexities surrounding domestic abuse and work to provide more context on what is not an isolated act of violence but a systemic failing of our society.

Domestic murder or domestic homicide are the correct characterisations for these sad events.  I would go so far as to say that if we cannot categorise something, we cannot name it.  If we cannot name it, we cannot deal with it appropriately or, in other words, accord it the social priority, effort and funding that it merits.

Domestic abuse and actual domestic violence have been with us for countless millennia but finally, perhaps, we have a chance to stop this blight on our civilisation by calling it out by its proper name.




Home is not a safe place for everyone!

Domestic Abuse Awareness Raising & Safety Products.

If you are a professional working with women who are experiencing domestic abuse, you really do need these products in your desk drawer or your stationery cupboard!

If you would like to prepare clients or encourage them to join up for The Freedom Programme, then you should have a few of these to hand….


If you are safety planning with women then you definitely need a few of these!  You wont find these anywhere else.  Unique safety plan keyrings…

And if you want to raise awareness amongst your colleagues then either of these in the staff room will do the trick…



And if you just want to show your support then this is a must…

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen extreme increases in the number of women disclosing domestic abuse.  Raising awareness of available support is something we can all do.

Go to for more information on the above and more.

Home is not a safe place for everyone!

Reactive Abuse – What is it?

Over the years, women that I have worked with, and more recently, women on my Freedom Programmes have described to me how they have felt that they were to blame for the abuse they experienced from their abusive partners.  They felt that they too, have been abusive in the relationship and their partner/ex partner’s have told them that they are being abusive and that they are merely retaliating!  They tell me they have argued back, yelled, screamed, thrown things and even been physically violent and that surely if they are doing these things they must also be abusive?!

I have always known that this is most certainly not the case.  But trying to explain it has been tricky.  Until now!

I have started seeing lots of articles about ‘Reactive Abuse’.  I’m not actually sure if this is a new phenomenon or whether it has always been there but it has never caught my eye before!  This article below explains ‘Reactive Abuse’ really well.

Reactive Abuse: What It is and Why Abusers Rely on It – Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence (

I am often told by women on my Freedom Programmes that are still in the abusive relationship that once they have been doing the programme for a few weeks they find themselves reacting differently to various behaviours of their partner, where once they would ‘react’ by shouting and getting upset and frustrated, they now see that this is a tactic their abuser is using to exert control.  They therefore, do not ‘react’ in the same way anymore and they feel that their partner is confused by this.  They are!  We are no longer ‘reacting’.  We are responding which involves really considering how we react to a situation.  Therefore, what we are actually doing is taking back some of that control that our abuser has over us.  No wonder he is confused!!!

Now taking referrals for the next Freedom Programme…….



I am now taking referrals for the next Freedom Programme which will start after Easter 2021.

 If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this next programme please call me on 07881511200 and leave your name, number and email address.

Alternatively, drop me an email to

The current programme is now full and I am unable to take any further referrals for this programme.

Now taking referrals for my next Freedom Programme…..



Freedomwhere's my dinner2I am now taking referrals for the next Freedom Programme which will start after Easter 2021.

 If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this next programme please call me on 07881511200 and leave your name, number and email address.

Alternatively, drop me an email to

The current programme is now full and I am unable to take any further referrals for this programme.

With the UK into it’s third national lockdown, raising awareness of Domestic Abuse has never been more vital. 

One in five offences – more than a quarter of a million – recorded by police during and immediately after the first national lockdown in England and Wales last year involved domestic abuse, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and there are fears of similar figures emerging amid the current national lockdown.

Although The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has made it clear that people can leave their home and travel if it is to escape domestic abuse, the reality is that being at home with your abuser 24 hours a day, means the opportunities to flee are going to be practically non-existent.

But as the UK comes out of this lockdown, whenever that may be, it is more important than ever before to make sure that every organisation, agency, staff room, reception, G.P surgery, dentist surgery, hairdressing salon, nail bar  – the list is endless – has the resources and products to raise awareness of domestic abuse and how victims/survivors can get help, support and advice.

Well look no further!  Head to my website page – Items for Sale – Sharon Bryan Consultancy Community Interest Company for all your awareness raising needs.  From information on The Freedom Programme to free resources from NCDV (National Centre for Domestic Violence) to my own awareness raising merchandise, it’s all there.

Can you make a difference?




Happy New Year!




Happy New Year and thank you to everyone that has supported me in 2021, professionally and personally.  

It has been a really tough year for everyone.  The pandemic has brought with it new ways of living and working and surviving!  Sacrifices made and people we love lost.  Women imprisoned in homes with their abusers – even less able to escape than before.  

The light at the end of the tunnel is still very dim!  But we can do this.  If we all pull together.

We can make 2021 a happier, healthier and safer year for everyone.


Can you tell the difference?!

I wanted to flag up this article which was brought to my attention by the Freedom Programme, which I facilitate.

Can You Tell The Difference Between A Men’s Magazine And A Rapist? (

I didn’t think I was easily shocked anymore, but when I tried to guess the answers to the questions within this article, I was very shocked!!

This is what is wrong with our society!  This is why men think it is ok to be abusive to women.  We can not simply stand by and shrug our shoulders.

Try to answer the questions.  I think you will be shocked too!!


Stuck for what to get your favourite person for Christmas??!!

If your partner cares about domestic abuse –  If they support the cause to end violence against women and make domestic abuse socially unacceptable – and you are in need of ideas for their Christmas stocking!  Then look no further!  The awareness raising products make great presents and also help me to support women experiencing domestic abuse.

For prices please follow the link below:

Items for Sale – Sharon Bryan Consultancy Community Interest Company

Mr Right & Mr Wrong Fridge Magnets.

These fridge magnets come as a pair and are a visual reminder of the difference between an abusive man and a non abusive man.  Perfect for women who have experienced domestic abuse, regardless of whether they have completed The Freedom Programme or not.

Also ideal for organisations and qualified individual facilitators of The Freedom Programme to give to women who attend their programmes.  I often give these to women once they have completed the programme, as a gift, but also to remind them of the knowledge they have acquired by participating in the programme.





£2 a pair plus free postage & packing.

For bulk order prices, please contact