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Standing together against domestic violence

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Thank You Louise Stubbings!

We would like to send a big shout out to Louise Stubbings who just completed the incredibly demanding Born Survivor Challenge in support of Standing Together.  We’d also like to thank her for raising an amazing £406.25 in aid of our work to end domestic abuse.

The Born Survivor track is similar to the training the British Army face every day. We’d like to congratulate Louise for completing the event after putting herself through an arduous training programme, pushing her physical and mental boundaries with extreme focus and determination and achieving this major feat!

We salute you, Louise! Well done from the whole team! Your support is incredibly inspirational and motivational. Thank you.


Announcing Our New CEO: Nicole Jacobs


The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Nicole Jacobs as the new CEO of Standing Together. Nicole's first day will be 25th November 2013.

Nicole has worked in the domestic violence sector for over 20 years, and brings with her a track record of inspiring innovation and successfully implementing changes to the way statutory and voluntary agencies respond to domestic violence.

Nicole previously worked at Standing Together in 2000 and was responsible for our pioneering work with the health service and also with the Specialist Domestic Violence Court. We know with her leadership, inspiration and operational knowledge that Standing Together will continue to improve and inspire responses to victims of domestic violence.

Anthony Wills will continue as CEO until late November and we thank him for his significant contribution in establishing the right tone, energy and structure at Standing Together, and for being a key driver in widening our services and ensuring that greater numbers of victims are supported.

Anthony commented that “After a long process, which saw many great people apply for this role I am hugely pleased that Nicole has agreed to join the organisation. She has the skills and personality to develop Standing Together into a position that the fantastic staff team, its experience and skills easily justify.”

On her appointment Nicole said, “I am thrilled to be the new CEO of Standing Together.  I am joining a tremendously knowledgeable, talented and committed team and I am grateful to Anthony for his inspiring leadership over the past 7 years. In all of my roles related to domestic violence over the past 20 years, I have seen time and time again that the coordination of the local and national approach is the critical factor in reducing harm and ensuring that those experiencing violence are provided safe and comprehensive support.  Here Standing Together has been a consistent beacon of light, leading by example in generating new ideas and as a model of best practice. I look forward to continuing this tradition in meeting the new challenges ahead”.



Michael Mullender, our dedicated supporter has accomplished the Ironman in Bolton in under 12 hours! 11 Hours 47 minutes to be exact! This is an incredible time for someone who has done the following: a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a marathon after that, i.e. 26 mile run!

And now he has managed to raise over £1,700 for Standing Together through his hard work, training and perseverance.

An incredible feat that all of us here at Standing Together are immensely thrilled with! Thank you, Michael. Get some rest now!

If you would like to make a donation to Michael, just go to his JustGiving page.


CEO to retire in November 2013

After fifteen years of transforming the way organisations and individuals think about, prevent and respond to domestic violence, Anthony Wills, the Chief Executive Office for Standing Together is due to retire in November 2013.

Anthony became the Chief Executive of Standing Together in 2006 following his career in the police. As Chief Executive, he has been a remarkable force in growing the organisation, building its reputation and developing its strategic vision by influencing national policies and in so doing, safeguarding a greater number of women, families and communities. 

In addition to his outstanding leadership, Anthony has written, with others, the national UK guidance for domestic violence partnerships, “In Search of Excellence”.  He currently is the independent chair of a significant number of domestic homicide reviews, ensuring that all learning is translated into effective actions to prevent future tragedies from occurring.

His departure is going to leave a significant gap within this field and he leaves with the best of wishes from all his colleagues and friends. 


Quality Award for Standing Together!

The Management committee, staff team and volunteers at Standing Together ended the year 2012 on a high note, recommended for PQASSO Level 2 Quality Mark, with a glowing report from their Assessor and all criteria met. This high level of accreditation means that Standing Together has provided, in great detail, the proof needed to demonstrate that their organisation is well run, accountable and has effective and robust systems at every level of decision making, service provision; staff and financial management and accountability to their Board and stakeholders.

The processes to reach full accreditation at Level 2 took two years in all.  All staff and key Board members needed to be involved in some way and the designated staff and volunteers put in a huge amount of work identifying and organising the proofs for each criteria, in addition to their ‘day jobs’. Success came because this was a whole team effort and because the key staff understood the long term benefits of the work involved.






On 14 February 2013 Standing Together Against Domestic Violence and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham joined with activists around the world for ONE BILLION RISING, the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.

ONE BILLION RISING began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On 14 February 2013, V-Day’s 15th anniversary, Standing Together Against Domestic Violence and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham joined activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, and women and men in 200 countries across the world as they expressed their outrage, demand change, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women.

Hammersmith and Fulham Rising! took place in Lyric Square, Hammersmith when professionals, students, members of the public, children, adults, women and men from the local area gathered to Strike, Dance and Rise! Standing Together and local DV support services including ADVANCE/Minerva, DVIP/Al-Aman, Westside and Hestia hosted a table with information on local violence against women services and played fantastic music to dance along to. Standing Together’s staff performed three flash mobs ( and did a reading of Eve Ensler’s monologue ‘Rising’ ( Dozens of members of the public stopped to talk to the team about our work and to sign the One Billion Rising pledge, highlighting what they will do to end violence against women in 2013.

Please stop by our facebook page to see all the photos from the day: 



Expanding the definition of domestic violence a welcome first step – what next?

Standing Together Against Domestic Violence welcomes the Government’s announcement yesterday that it has broadened both the definition of domestic violence and the age ranges covered by it.

Source :

It’s long been clear that the term ‘domestic violence’ encourages misperceptions, most crucially that it involves isolated instances of physical ‘lashing out’ and that it is a ‘private matter’, the manifestation of intimate relationship problems best solved by adults behind closed doors. It’s therefore heartening to see Government take on board that, far from being spontaneous, DV represents a premeditated pattern of abusive behaviours - many non-physical - designed to intimidate, coerce and dominate victims, and that 16-17 year olds are amongst the groups worst-afflicted. We also applaud the inclusion of practices specific to minority groups – notably, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour’ based violence and female genital mutilation – that have too often been seen as ‘cultural practices’ rather than the violation of basic human rights they actually represent.

So far, so good. But substantial challenges remain:

  • Statutory services – including the Police, Housing, Social Care and Health services – have seen substantial recent cuts both to front line resources and training. Voluntary providers such as IDVAs, refuges and witness services have had a similar experience, indeed cuts have been as high as 70% in the case of smaller providers. One has to wonder, therefore, how existing provision is going to accommodate the new caseloads represented by 16-17 year olds.

  • In light of the fact that 16-17 year olds are now covered by the new definition of DV, there needs to be a much more consistent approach to domestic abuse-related education in schools. Recent research has highlighted not only the widespread lack of understanding among teens about what constitutes consent but also the fact that a disturbing percentage of them see physical violence against a partner as being justified ‘under certain circumstances’. Changing such perceptions is not something that can be done on an ad hoc basis.

  • Moreover, it’s fast becoming clear that education about healthy relationships can’t wait until young people reach the age of having intimate partners. Rather, this kind of learning must begin in primary school, if not nursery, and be delivered consistently across the country.

  • And let’s not underestimate the task of educating the public about what constitutes ‘coercive control’. If the Government hopes to equip people across the UK to help friends, neighbours and co-workers whom they suspect may be experiencing violence or abuse, a high profile, long-term national awareness raising campaign will be required.

  • Finally, the new definition of domestic violence lacks the weight of being enshrined in law as is the case, for example, in Australia

In conclusion, while Standing Together endorses the Government’s obvious commitment to combating more effectively domestic abuse of all kinds, we would like to see them use the new definition as a springboard for further much-needed change – most especially in the area of prevention - and commit all the necessary resources to make this happen.


A Decade of Success

On Tuesday July 10th Standing Together celebrated 10 years of local partnership working. (Although in existence since 1998, we’re marking the decade as dating from when we began administering the first Special Domestic Violence Court - SDVC – in the UK to hear trials).

Thanks to Lord Soley, one of our Trustees, we were able to hold this event in the Attlee Room of the House of Lords and entertain a lively group of old and new friends and supporters from the worlds of politics, law, healthcare, social care and housing, the voluntary and community sectors, and the media. Excellent speeches by Lord Soley, Head of Trustees Helen Ball and Chief Executive Anthony were warmly received by the capacity crowd. We enjoyed it so much, we might even find an excuse to do it again!

For further information, contact us



YouGov research commissioned by Standing Together reveals that not only do a staggering percentage of the UK population think they may know a victim of domestic abuse, most of them would not know what to do to help.  This points to a pressing need to start educating the public about the nature and prevalence of this crime - which encompasses many different forms of coercive behaviour - and what action can be taken.

Full story here



The 112 - 2012

On Saturday 12th May 108 riders rode to defeat domestic violence. Lovely day, great ride, fantastic helpers. We can make a difference.

We were very proud of our Chief Exec, Anthony Wills, who came in 5th, even though he insisted 'it is not a race'. 

With the ride complete he finally took a well deserved rest (see pic below)!

For the full story....112 web page


Ellen Pence 1948 – 2012
A great spirit passes on

We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of that great pioneer Ellen Pence. For us she will always be the most powerful advocate in bringing activists and statutory agencies together to completely re think how we respond to domestic abuse, in a coordinated way.

Ellen first came to Hammersmith, London, U.K. from Duluth, Minnesota USA in 1995 and delivered a whole week of training to a packed hall with people from many agencies. She inspired us to do what seemed impossible at the time. She is why our Domestic Violence Forum set out to build the partnership which then became ‘Standing Together Against Domestic Violence’. We brought the Duluth manual ‘In Our Best Interest’ into the Refuges to inspire us and the women taking shelter there.  We tracked the criminal justice system for gaps and set up the first advocacy project in Fulham.

Ellen continued to visit and to re-inspire us over the years when we thought the barriers were insurmountable and later, when we might be in danger of becoming complacent. She was never complacent. She was always developing her thinking, making new connections, questioning, challenging and looking ahead, right through to our last meeting in September 2011.

Ellen was a truly great teacher, in the very best sense of that word, and like all great teachers used humour and stories to shift the way we looked at ourselves. She showed us that bad outcomes don’t come from bad individuals but from bad systems, and demonstrated this clearly in her more recent work on child protection. Her ability to get diverse agencies to learn and laugh together made encounters with her both memorable and subversive; she cleverly challenged the approaches which we had come to take for granted. Ellen always stressed the collective input into the development of the DAIP in Duluth and PRAXIS International, but for us it was her own analysis and powers of communicating which we experienced and which renewed our approach to the work.

Ellen’s influence remains central to all we do at ‘Standing Together’. She influenced many worlds and her loss will be felt all across Europe and as far afield as New Zealand and Australia.

She battled against cancer with all the courage, humanity, insight and sardonic humour which she brought to all she confronted in her life. Her life was too short. We are hugely grateful that she shared some of it with us, and for all she achieved for women all over the world. Part of her will live on in all we try to achieve in our small corner of the world.
We will miss her spirit, her insights, her endless curiosity and her humour. We will miss her as a mentor, an activist and as a friend. Our hearts go out to her mother Anne, her partner Amanda and their son Liam at this dark time.
The ‘touchstone’ to which she returned was the transforming effects of the early group work with women. Our best memorial to her will be to keep listening to women’s stories and to learn from them; to remember that we work for no less than major social change; a revolution in how people interact with each other and a world in which equality is a reality.

Beryl Foster
On behalf of Standing Together Against Domestic Violence

Ellen Pence interviewed in 2011 by Casey Gwinn in which she sets out the development of a coordinated response and what key lessons she draws at the end of her career. To watch the interview click here.

More can be shared about Ellen on – enter ‘ellenpence’ (all one word) in the website box and register.


National Guidance Launched For Developing An Effective Partnership Approach To Domestic Violence  

In Search of Excellence: A Guide

With the support of the Home Office, Standing Together has designed national guidance for developing an effective multi-agency, response to domestic violence. This is centred on local partnerships which coordinate the response to this dreadful crime.  Entitled ‘In Search of Excellence’ the guidance is launched this month and is free of charge to download from the website at  To go hand-in-hand with this piece of work, Standing Together is offering partnerships the opportunity to receive free consultancy to outline the best practice model and to receive advice on local delivery.

Domestic Violence partnerships bring together the main statutory and voluntary agencies that work to change the practice and culture around domestic abuse. These normally include the Police, Health Services, Children and Adult Services, Probation and Housing Services.  Specialised services based in the voluntary sector are also a crucial part of such partnerships. The guidance is intended to help partnerships assess their development, establish their current performance and discover solutions that will allow them to improve within their own context.

This definitive national guide is aimed at domestic violence coordinators, partnership members, partnership chairs, domestic violence leads within agencies and heads of services.   It identifies 12 components of a successful coordinated community response - the unified effort needed to achieve the aim of increasing safety for survivors and their children.    These components were tested within 10 partnerships across the country and the evidence of their activities added much to the final version of the guide.  Without addressing these components partnerships will be significantly less likely to achieve success.

The guide concludes ‘The search for excellence is aspirational but improvement is essential and achievable’.  ‘To allow women and children, and other victims, to lead safe and fulfilled lives it is essential that the problem is recognised and acted upon in a way which removes risk, satisfies needs and protects the most vulnerable’.

Contributors to the guide are Anthony Wills, Chief Executive of Standing Together and domestic violence consultants Bear Montique, Nicole Jacobs and Laura Croom.  The guide and consultation is only possible because Standing Together is in receipt of Government Transitional funding that partly supports this work.

Domestic violence is a social and global problem that has a significant impact on individuals, families, communities and society as a whole.  It is horribly prevalent throughout society. Research indicates that it affects one in four women and one in six men in their lifetime, regardless of age, social class, race, disability or lifestyle.  At least 750,000 children a year witness domestic violence.  Domestic violence kills. At least two woman are murdered in the UK by their current or former partner every week.

Standing Together is recognised nationally as the leading expert on domestic violence partnerships and the broad coordinated community response, and act as advisors to Government, both nationally and locally.  Standing Together’s vision is to achieve practical and cultural change about domestic violence.

For further information on the guidance or consultancy please email or telephone Standing Together on 0208 748 5717.


Support domestic violence victims by buying the Survivor's Cookbook

Support domestic violence victims in your local community by purchasing the Survivor's Cookbook. Combining a wide range of easy-to-prepare recipes, from both survivors and those who support them and make their lives safe.

Many of the ideas are really simple and include recipes from Gordon Ramsay and Jo Brand who are friends of Women's Aid and Standing Together Against Domestic Violence.

A suggested donation of £5 is proposed for the Cookbook (with £1 for postage and packing). All proceeds go to Women's Aid and Standing Together Against Domestic Violence.

To order, email your name, delivery address, phone number and the number of copies you wish to order. Donations for the cookbook can be made by cheque, debit or credit card. If paying by debit/credit card, we will email you an online invoice from PayPal (you will not need an account for this service.) Once you have paid, we will send you the cookbook.

Thank you for your support.


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Last Modified: March 2013