For the last 22 years Sharon has worked in the field of domestic abuse. Starting out as a volunteer for a local refuge service, she went on to secure a full time job for the same service.
She joined the Women's Aid Federation of England, board of trustees in 2000 and went on to become the Vice Chair in 2002. Also in 2000, Sharon was involved in the writing of a book called 'Getting Out' which tells the stories of several English and American women who experienced domestic abuse and how they escaped those relationships.
Sharon came to London to work in 2004 where she developed and managed the first IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advocate) service in Westminster. She was the Vice Chair of the Westminster Domestic Violence Forum and Chair of the forum's Legal Issues sub group and was instrumental in campaigning for the first Domestic Violence Court in Westminster.
Sharon Bryan specialises in survivor consultation and intervention, risk assessment, facilitation of The Freedom Programme and Multi-Agency training. She also trains student social workers and offers supervision to other professionals who work with women who have/are experiencing Domestic Abuse. Sharon has extensive experience of delivering consultation to Social Workers and Child Protection Chairpersons. She is a qualified IDVA. She is an accomplished public speaker and has been involved in media work including being on television, radio and writing numerous newspaper and magazine articles. She has also been an expert witness in criminal and civil courts of law.
Since 2009, Sharon has worked for The City of Westminster Council. Until 2016 she was the Senior Domestic Abuse Consultant for the ground breaking 'Family Recovery Programme'. In 2016 she became the Domestic Abuse Consultant for the Integrated Early Help Service at the council.
Sharon was awarded the 'Survivor of the Year" Award in 2012 by The Women's Aid Federation of England in partnership with Avon and Marie Claire magazine. She was also nominated and shortlisted for the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize in 2015 for her services to women experiencing domestic abuse.
Sharon is excited and honoured to be able to take the next step of incorporating her passion and commitment and launching Sharon Bryan Consultancy Community Interest Company in September 2020.
Sharon is a survivor of domestic abuse.
Mission & Vision Statement.
Mission – My mission is to support and advice women survivors of domestic abuse and to raise awareness of domestic abuse amongst the professionals who encounter these women. To be the person that I needed when I was experiencing domestic abuse.
Vision – My vision is to live in a society where women and children do not live in fear and are free from abuse in all its forms.
The Impact of COVID-19.
Incorporating her consultancy service, which Sharon runs in her spare time, was always something she wanted to do. However, the inception of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown gave Sharon the confidence and incentive to bring her wish to fruition. In her day to day job, Sharon witnessed a massive increase in domestic abuse. Women quite literally trapped in their own homes with their abusive partners. No realistic way of escaping, of seeking help for themselves or their children. Having experienced domestic abuse herself, Sharon could think of no worse nightmare. She worked every day through lockdown but she didn't feel it was enough. The United Nations described the worldwide increase of domestic abuse as a "shadow pandemic" alongside COVID-19.
Sharon needs your help.
Now that she has set up the Sharon Bryan Consultancy Community Interest Company, she is eager to get started. She has great plans! Sharon wants to offer The Freedom Programme to women survivors. She is a trained facilitator of the Freedom Programme and has guided many women through the programme in the last 5 years in her day to day role.
"A Huge Thank You to our wonderful Freedom Programme Facilitator Sharon Bryan. Sharon works tirelessly and passionately to combat violence and abuse against women and children.
She has brought the Freedom Programme to the women of Westminster and is helping us to reach more women every day. She is warm loving and never judges. She is great fun and delivers the programme with wit and humour.
In short she is a perfect Freedom Programme Facilitator".
Pat Craven - Creator of the Freedom Programme and author of Living with the Dominator.
The Freedom Programme was designed for women who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse; in any of its forms. It examines the roles played by attitudes and beliefs on the actions of abusive men and the responses of victims and survivors. The aim is to help women to make sense of and understand what has happened to them, instead of the whole experience just feeling like a horrible mess. The Freedom Programme also describes in detail how children are affected by being exposed to this kind of abuse and very importantly how their lives are improved when the abuse is removed. It empowers women to take back control of their lives and help them to realise that they are not alone in their experiences.
Sharon also wants to commission and provide to women, and to professional organisations who encounter women in these situations, 'Safety Plan' keyrings. Sharon did this many years ago when she was developing the first IDVA service for Westminster in London and at the time, had incredible feedback from women survivors of how helpful these were. On the outside, the keyring looks like any other standard keyring. However, inside is a pull out which details emergency telephone numbers, National Helpline numbers and an all important emergency safety plan! Sharon had not seen these before and has not seen them since but is keen to get these recommissioned.
All of this costs money! Help Sharon to raise these funds so that she is able, with your help, to reach many more women that need advice, support and understanding.