As professionals with lived experience and working within the domestic abuse arena across three decades, we could see that there was a need for a programme that would further educate survivors of abuse and coercion about the behaviours they experience and the impact of the trauma they suffer and how it affects their mental health and well-being.


We believe in empowering survivors to support themselves with learning and discussion that addresses psychoeducation, therapeutic techniques that include self-care, grounding resources, and techniques to self-regulate, enabling them to care for themselves more mindfully.


We know that when we feel stressed or threatened, our bodies have an automatic physiological response to enable a person to respond to the danger they face. The programme covers the range of physiological responses experienced in each stage of abuse and/or assault.


We created The VOICE Programme after listening to the voices of countless victims and survivors of domestic abuse and what was missing in their recovery. Coping with the effects of trauma can feel difficult, especially when you don’t have access to the support and tools that can help you.


Equally, feedback from the many practitioners that have attended our domestic abuse trainings over two decades tells us that the victims/survivors they work with, often re-visit further abusive relationships and thereby their services, which can leave them feeling helpless and de-skilled.


We hope to meet the need for improved understanding of current protocol, legislation, and best practice. Further, we aim to enable practitioners to provide the victims and survivors with whom they work, a supportive, regulated, therapeutically based, trauma informed framework and programme


See feedback from participants who have completed the 12 week VOICE Programme.


Facilitator training is for practitioners who work with people who have experienced all forms of domestic and sexual violence, intimate partner abuse and coercive control. The programme content can be applied both in the capacity of groups or in a 1:1 capacity.


Practitioners come from a range of statutory and voluntary agencies including domestic abuse services, WA refuges/outreach, housing associations, health, CYP services, counselling, SARCs, IDVA services.


The VOICE Programme is for any victim or survivor of domestic abuse, in-situ, post separation or historical, regardless of their gender, sex, sexuality, race, faith, culture of practice, disability or any other identifiable difference.

The VOICE Programme was originally conceived by Cathy Press, Clare Walker and Rachel Williams.

Each putting decades of personal and professional knowledge and experience to good use!

As a response to the overwhelmingly positive feedback on the elements on trauma and the therapeutic approach of the programme from both group participants and practitioners delivering the programme, it was decided that these aspects of the programme would be further developed by Cathy Press.

Heartfelt thanks to both Clare and Rachel for all their early contributions.

The VOICE Programme would never have happened without you!

Founder of Escape the Trap www.escapethetrap.co.uk 

and awarenessmatters.org.uk,

Cathy is a survivor of both teenage and adult relationship abuse.

Cathy is a Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor specialising in domestic and sexual violence and trauma. Cathy has been delivering domestic abuse training for many years, has developed a programme on intimate partner abuse for young people – Escape the Trap, is also a trainer in the Who’s in Charge? Programme for parents whose children are violent towards them, 


and launched her first book on intimate partner abuse for young people When Love Bites in April 2022: cathypress.co.uk/when-love-bites



Cathy Press has over 25 yrs experience working as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor, registered as MBACP Senior Accredited Counsellor and Supervisor with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Cathy has specialised within the arena of domestic and sexual violence and abuse, trauma, abuse, child to parent violence and abuse, attachment and adoption related issues with children, young people and adults. 

Having been a trainer in domestic abuse related issues over 20 years, Cathy continues to run workshops and trainings to practitioners across the UK and internationally, including the Escape the Trap Programme, the Who’s in Charge? Programme and more recently the VOICE Programme. 

Combining therapeutic practice, running psycho-educational programmes and her extensive knowledge base in relationship abuse dynamics, Cathy developed Escape the Trap to support young people who are at risk and vulnerable to early intimate relationship abuse, grooming and CSE.  It was in response to the rising numbers of young people affected and their need for understanding as well as an opportunity to process how their experiences have impacted them.

For 20 years Cathy was Chair of the charity, Compassion, sat for many years on the CPS Scrutiny Panel for domestic abuse cases and has won awards for innovative work in the arena of domestic abuse.

For many years Cathy worked as Clinical Lead/Manager of therapeutic services for specialist domestic abuse agencies and continues to provide clinical supervision to several domestic and sexual violence organisations.

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