We are grateful to the brave survivors who have shared their personal experiences and insights with us. This group of experts by experience came together and named themselves the SafeLives Pioneers, because they want to use their experiences and passion to change the world.
Their voices inform everything we do, and together we aim to transform the response to domestic abuse in the UK – for every victim and survivor and their children.
Hi I’m Celia, I’m Transformation coach, speaker, artist, activist and above all Alchemist, born and raised in England, graduate of Chelsea Art College and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
After overcoming years of addiction, domestic abuse and the murder of my beautiful Mum in 2008, it has been a long journey of recovery and self-realisation.
Since 2008, after Mum's Article 2 Right to life was breached, Human Rights became a a very real thing for me and a main focus, as you can imagine my passion for human rights and social justice has grown exponentially ever since.
We all have pivotal challenges in life, learning how to handle these challenges well is the ultimate life skill. I genuinely believe in a transformative life for everyone, turning harmful into helpful and useless in useful, this is Alchemy at its best!
For over a decade I have been devoted to raising awareness of domestic abuse, human rights, healthy relationships and anything to do with well-being.
All this organically led me into coaching- dedicated to the development of individuals and organisations for positive cultural and social change.
Being accepted on Amnesty’s campaign and impact subcommittee for the activist Campaigner role has been significant for me, as I feel so passionate about people and social justice over all.
I give talks on behalf of the charities: Amnesty International and SafeLives and am one of their devoted Pioneers, I also work in conjunction with Peaceful Solutions, and various other organisations.
I believe in creating a level playing field some way, somehow; so being with like-minded others feels amazing, I know together we can offer and contribute many positive possibilities for humankind.
If you’re ready to turn your pain to purpose and be the pioneer of your life and the conscious leader you were born to be, I’m here to help you shine your light.
Claire experienced years of emotional abuse and manipulation from her ex-partner. A former translator and journalist, Claire – alongside three other women – went on to found the charity VOICES in Bath, which supports survivors to rebuild their lives. She explains, “We called it VOICES because abuse silences victims, and if you cannot find your voice again, you cannot truly heal”. Read Claire's reflections on what being a Pioneer means to her.
Vicky was a victim of domestic abuse, stalking, coercive control and threatened revenge porn. She now works for the Police working with victims and witnesses of similar offences. She says: ‘It is a privilege to offer help to others who are currently experiencing what I went through. I talk with knowledge and experience of the power domestic abuse has on the mind but with the ability to see a life outside of a controlling relationship. Many women experiencing domestic abuse are unable to see a life without their partner who causes them such pain. I try every single day to give them a glimpse of life without fear with no judgement or pressure one woman at a time.’
As well as our group of SafeLives Pioneers, our work is made possible by all the survivors and people with lived experience who bravely speak up and tell us about the change they want to see.
John & Penny Clough
John and Penny lost their daughter Jane Clough to domestic abuse. John and Penny are now dedicated campaigners to transform the response to domestic abuse. They set up Jane's Place, a refuge for women also experiencing other issues such as mental health concerns and alcohol/drug misuse.
Sarah is a professional woman in her twenties who is now living safely and rebuilding her life after domestic abuse. She believes we need the health sector to play a more active role in raising awareness and keeping women safe. Read more about Sarah's story.
SafeLives is an organisation of around 70 people: there are many survivors and people with lived experience working with us. A number of staff have stepped forward to join our Pioneer group, and all of us work together to ensure that the voices of people with lived experience are at the heart of everything we do.
*Names and some details have been changed for the safety of the survivors and their children